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Rome Reports

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Santiago de Compostela celebrates a Jubilee Year despite the pandemic

Nearly 300,000 people journey to Compostela every year, although the pandemic has brought the flow of pilgrims to a near-complete stop.

But the Archbishop of Compostela, Julián Barrio, is optimistic: he says the pandemic doesn’t alter the objective of a jubilee. If anything, it reinforces it. 

Archbishop, Santiago de Compostela
“The pastoral letter I wrote to mark the beginning of Compostela’s Holy Year was titled ‘Leave your Land’, meaning leave the bubble that’s isolating us from the rest of the world, making us think only of ourselves, keeping us firmly within our comfort zone.”

In order to encourage more pilgrims to come to Compostela, and obtain the grace of the Jubilee, the Pope has extended the Holy Year for an additional 12 months, through to 2022. 

Archbishop, Santiago de Compostela
“I’d like all pilgrims to put on sandals of hope this year, so they can express their faith through charity. Because faith is held in the hand of charity.”

Santiago de Compostela is one of the oldest pilgrim destinations in the world. 

It attracts people for different reasons, religious, cultural, and even sport. But everyone is struck by the figure of the Apostle, James, whose remains are said to lie inside the city’s Cathedral. 

John Paul II and Benedict XVI have both made pilgrimages to his tomb. And many hope that, sooner or later, Pope Francis will do the same. 

Javier Romero

TR: Justin McLellan

Turismo Galicia