Spain - Camino de Santiago, a special moment to prepare for Easter

17 April 2019

(ANS - Madrid) - Among the thousands of pilgrims who come to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela every year, it is increasingly common to see groups of students accompanied by their teachers. Several Salesian centers offer this experience to their students throughout the year and some in the very days preceding Holy Week. This is the case of the “San Miguel Arcángel-Salesianos Paseo de Extremadura” centers in Madrid; "Salesianos Loyola" in Aranjuez; "Salesianos Atocha", in Madrid; "Salesianos Hermano Gárate", in Ciudad Real, and "Salesianos La Orotava", in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

This period "is preferred because it is academically more favorable," explains Susana de Torres, a teacher at the "San Miguel Arcángel" school. And the Lenten climate also has a positive influence: "It is an excellent time to prepare for Easter; in fact, many times we have made our arrival in Santiago coincide with Palm Sunday, to then reflect together on the analogy of festive entries in the city, for Jesus, and for the students," explains prof. of Ciudad Real, Enrique Ruiz.

The "San Miguel Arcángel" school organizes the participation of its students in the Camino de Santiago to "take care of the intermediate courses pastorally," adds Professor de Torres. From its beginning, which is becoming a beautiful tradition, the Salesian centers have transmitted to the students the central motivation of this activity: "it is a pilgrimage, not a cultural or sporting journey."

On the journey, faith is the guiding thread, with those proposals that are already made daily in educational centers, but which take on a special role during the days of pilgrimage. On some occasions, symbols are also used, perhaps between the yellow arrows that indicate the path of the Way and "those people that God puts on our path as guides," adds the teacher.

"We try to ensure that the pilgrimage encourages an encounter with oneself, with others and with God," adds another professor, Celia Antolín, from the center of Loyola-Aranjuez.

The long hours on foot favor solidarity and in-depth reflections. "All the difficulties are faced in a great family spirit ... The big questions you ask are all about yourself," says prof. Ruiz. Experience shows that along the way the kids go into relationships with family, friends, God ... "The hours of walking give us the opportunity to talk about many of these topics, and in a much more natural way than can be done at school," concludes Prof. Antolín.

And, as rightly emphasized by prof. Ruiz, "the teacher is just one more pilgrim."


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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