Somewhere in the recesses of my mind I knew this year had been granted significance as a Holy Year by Pope Francis- the Year of Mercy. And with that declaration came the opening of the Holy Door at the Cathedral of Santiago --- out of sync from it's regular years ( those in which the Feast of Saint James, July 25th, happens to fall on a Sunday).
I attach a link to a brief article expaining the process by which the door is ceremoniously opened and the importance to Catholics of walking through that speciifc door.
And, I am grateful for the experience of entering the Cathedral and the Tomb of Saint James through this centuries old passage ... sacred in Catholicism.
For Catholics it is an especially sacred blessing to see this sight. For pilgrims having walked hundreds of kilometers, for whatever their reasons, it still holds deeply emotional connection...a final
blessing at the end of an extraordinary walk.
Also, some photos from my time outside the Holy Door today, watching as fellow pilgrims and visitors queue to hug the shoulders of the incredibly ornate silver and gold statue of Saint James, high above the Altar; then entering the lower quarters, where the bones of St. James are said be laid.
~~ Author Award Winning Bestseller ' A Camino of the Soul: Learning to Listen When the Universe Whsipers'