March 29, 2011. The
most famous pilgrimage route across Europe, the Way of St. James, has
a brand new encyclopedia. Forty experts from eight countries have
zealously collaborated in conducting the research for this
work. The Encyclopedia explains, among other things, the meaning of botafumeiro, the typical dress of the pilgrim, and the history of each of the rituals that have sprung up around the Way of St. James.
Rodriguez Director, Way of St. James Encyclopedia "In
this encyclopedia we have ensured that the entire universe is
Jacobean in every way: at a historical level, the characters, events,
meanings, routes, and historical pilgrims and rituals. It is, if not
all, almost everything. The
Jacobean world has a historical dimension, the pilgrims that arrived
in Santiago came from all over Europe. The route itself is a work of
all of Europe, even Iceland."
The Encyclopedia explains, among other things, the
meaning of botafumeiro, the typical dress of the pilgrim, and the
history of each of the rituals that have sprung up around the Way of
Rodriguez Director, Way of St. James Encyclopedia "Rites
have emerged in the past and are still emerging. I think this is one
of the more interesting things collected in the work. The route is
defined through symbols like the cross or the drone, the pilgrim's
walking stick, and, of course, the Cathedral of Santiago is full, in
the best sense, of ritual. The most significant thing is the embrace
of the Apostle. "
encyclopedia is composed of 18 volumes and includes more than 3,000
entries which detail everything from the birth of the first road in
the eleventh century to the history of the 100 roads that exist
Pope Benedict XVI received a copy a few days before his
trip to Santiago.
Couto Editor, Great Encyclopedia of the Camino de
knew it was a great desire that the pope had, with his brother
George, to travel to Santiago. When we gave him the encyclopedia, he
told us the news that the trip had to be done soon and literally told
us to use it to plan for his trip. Monsignor Froján told us that he
had already been browsing and reading the work. A few days later we
received a letter of thanks from His Holiness for the work and
congratulations on the edition. "
Way of St. James was declared the first European Cultural Route in
1987 by the Council of Europe and World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Last
year it celebrated its Holy Year and it will celebrate it again in
In addition, this year marks the 800th
anniversary of the consecration of the Cathedral of Santiago, one of
the world's most beautiful churches.