With less than a week to go and having put in as much preparation as possible, we were fortunate to receive a special blessing at 10H00 Mass yesterday at Our Lady of Good Hope Catholic Church in Sea Point by Monsignor Clifford Stokes.
We were called up (with our takkies!) and Monsignor Stokes gave us a special blessing he had prepared for our 771km journey of pilgrimage. I have inserted the blessing below:
Father God, we pray for these two pilgrims,Dino and Odette,who are soon to leave these shores to travel to the tomb of St James, the Great in Santiago de Compostela. In doing, so they will honour St James, apostle, friend of Jesus and martyr for his faith.
That faith has a long tradition of pilgrimages of the faithful travelling to holy places for religious reasons. The very word “pilgrim” comes from the Latin “peregrine” which means “foreigner” or “wanderer” -someone who travels in faith to another place in a journey set apart from their normal lives.
For this reason, Abraham is recognised as the first pilgrim described in scripture because he was called to journey to the land chosen by God. Centuries later, Abraham’s descendants embarked on their pilgrimage to the Promised Land from Egypt. The birth of Jesus himself is marked by the pilgrimage of the Magi, the three kings who followed the star to pay homage to the Messiah and it is recorded that Jesus himself travelled on pilgrimage many times from the Galilee region to Jerusalem.
We pray Lord that you bless these walking shoes of Dino and Odette, the traditional symbols of pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela – we pray that they walk proudly and safely in these shoes to their destination at the tomb of the apostle James.
Father God, we ask you to bestow your special blessings uponDino and Odette. May they travel safely and enjoy days of happy and prayerful companionship and nights of restful sleep until they reach their journey’s end.
We now pray the Pilgrims’ Prayer:
St James, Apostle,
Chosen among the first of the Lord
You were the first to drink from
The Cup of the Master, to shed your blood.
And you are the great protector of pilgrims;
Make Odette and Dino strong in faith
And happy in love and hope all the days of their pilgrim journey.
Following the path of Christian life
sustain them so that they may finally
reach the glory of God the Father.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Odette and Dino,as you go from this place to begin your final preparations, leave with the love and fond good wishes of all who know you.
Bow your heads as we pray for God’s blessing:
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your cheeks.
And until we meet again.