In September 2016 a group of pilgrims will walk the 640 km pilgrim route taken by Íñigo López de Loyola (who later became Saint Ignatius of Loyola) in 1522 from his home in Spain’s Basque country to Montserrat and Manresa.
The “Camino Ignaciano,” or the “Ignatian way” begins at the birthplace of Ignatius Loyola in Spain’s Basque country, in a village near the small town of Azpeitia. From there, the route proceeds through picturesque mountains, deserts, and plains, before ending in the town of Manresa near Barcelona.
Ignatius rested in this town for some months after his journey from Loyola. Manresa was a place of profound spiritual enlightenment for him. Here he composed his spiritual masterpiece, the Spiritual Exercises.
Pilgrims will walk virtually the same route that Ignatius did, pass through many towns that he did, pray at churches where he did, and marvel at the same natural wonders that he saw. This clip from YouTube will give you a taste of what a pilgrim will see along the way.
Pilgrims will be on a 28-day outer journey and an inner journey. The outer journey will be well marked. The inner journey less so. For some it will be about forgiveness or reconciliation, for others a new direction or course in life, a confirmation of a major life choice, or a renewed or rediscovered sense of personal identity.
Each day pilgrims will have the opportunity for daily Mass, either said by the guide, Fr Michael Smith SJ, or we will attend a Eucharist in one of the local parishes. There will also be opportunities for prayer, personal reflection, spiritual conversation and sharing in small groups.
A few of the pilgrims will be graduate students in spirituality and spiritual direction from Sentir Graduate College for Spiritual Formation, which is a college of University of Divinity in Melbourne, Australia.