A visit to the Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela was a very powerful experience for me, and convinced me to return
as a pilgrim. The "camino" of Santiago is a time-honored route to the city's historic cathedral.
It leads from the Pyrenees Mountains on the French border across the top of Spain, along a southern or a northern route, and
ending in Galicia, the Iberian Peninsula's northwest corner. There also are routes from other starting points, such
In preparing for the journey, I was disappointed to see that while there were many guidebooks, I could not find a devotional
companion to the camino. I decided to write one myself, as a personal act of devotion that might be of assistance
to other pilgrims. I have been heartened with the encouragement both in Spain and the U.S., including many
links to this website by groups involved in the camino.
The work comes in two versions. The longer version,
"A Closer Walk"
, includes a year of Bible passages, with special selections for the beginning of the actual journey and for the arrival
in Sanitago de Compostela. This version is based on the belief that a pilgrimage is more than the days spent on an actual
journey; it also includes the preparation and the aftermath. For that reason, there are selections for a whole year,
and special selections for when the actual journey begins and ends.
The second version is shorter.
is a companion for those on the actual journey who have not begun the year of devotions that the other book contemplates.
Why forty? A typical journey might take 32 to 34 days. With a few days of preparation and a few days in the city
itself and the return home, the Biblical number of forty is appropriate. In this shorter version, every day includes
two selections: one from the Psalms and one from the rest of the Bible.