The Order of Malta, the road to Santiago and the compostellan holy year 2004
Since the high days of its presence in the Iberian Peninsula, the Order of Malta’s history has been closely linked to the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. Its Knights provided protection to pilgrims at crossroads and mountain passes, plains and valleys, and offered them lodging and assistance at the Order’s extensive network of hospitals, convents and churches from Rome to Compostela.
Nowadays, splendid vestiges of this presence on the route still exist and the Order continues to carry out its hospitaller work and to provide assistance to pilgrims at various locations such as:
– Roncesvalles (Navarre): The Order’s Knights in Navarre have published an up-to-date pamphlet listing the services offered to pilgrims along the 200 kilometers of the route through Navarre and La Rioja. The pamphlet will be available at tourist offices and hostels in Navarre, starting in Roncensvalles at the collegiate church, where the main pilgrimage route in Spain begins.
– Cizur Menos (Navarre): Lodging and assistance are provided to pilgrims at the hostel adjacent to the Romanesque Church of the ancient Commandery of Saint John, four kilometers from Pamplona. The hostel is run by the Spanish Association’s Delegation in Navarre with the help of teams of volunteers from Navarre and other parts of Spain. It will be open from 28 May to 3 October. For more information consult www.jacobeo.net.
– Itero del Castillo (Burgos): The Hospital of San Nicolás de Puente Fitero, located beside a bridge over the Pisuerga River in an area controlled by the Order in the Middle Ages, has been restored and converted into a hostel for pilgrims by the Confraternita di San Jacopo de Compostela, of Perugia, in close collaboration with the Spanish Association of the Order of Malta. The Order continues to collaborate with the Confraternita through the CISOM (Italian Aid Corps of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta), whose volunteers will be on duty 23-30 May and from 26 July to 8 August. (The hostel, attended by volunteers of other organizations, will be open from early May to mid October). For more information consult www.Confraternitadisanjacopo.it.
During the Jacobean Holy Years, the Spanish Association of the Order of Malta maintains a First Aid Station in the Cloister of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. It is staffed by volunteers of the Association and teams of volunteers from other national associations and humanitarian organizations of the Order. The First Aid Station will be open from 1 July until 17 October. For more information, consult the Spanish Association of the Order of Malta, email: [email protected]
The Order’s Jacobean Holy Year activities culminate with an international pilgrimage to the tomb of the Apostle Saint James. This pilgrimage, will take place from 15-17 October. It will be presided by His Most Eminent Highness the Prince and Grand Master Fra’ Andrew Bertie, accompanied by the Order’s High Charges and its members from all parts of the world. For detailed information consult the Spanish Association of the Order of Malta, which is responsable for the organization of the pilgrimage, email: [email protected]