Camino de Santiago. Photo credit: jon alkain Shutterstock CNA
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Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Jul 14, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- The bishops of Spain and France have published a new letter emphasizing the importance of hospitality for people who host pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, offering guidelines for how they can welcome and care for the spiritual needs of those making the long trek.
In the letter the bishops noted that hospitality is a tradition that has been practiced in all ages and civilizations, and “is not to question or to prosecute, but only to welcome, to give food and drink, a bed and money for the trip, words of esteem and direction.”
It is the same kindness that Abraham showed to the strangers who came to his door in Mambre, and is “the mercy that the Samaritan showed to the wounded man, carrying him to an inn and leaving money so that he could be healed and recovered during the necessary time,” they said.
Published July 12, the letter is titled “Welcome and Hospitality on the Camino,” and is directed at those who host pilgrims that walk the historic “Camino de Santiago,” or “the Way of St. James.”
Often referred to simply as “the Camino,” it is an ancient pilgrimage consisting of a network of trails across Europe all leading to the tomb of the saint in Santiago, Spain.