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From America to Santiago 2 via Paris

30 Mars 2011, 21:57pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

portrait.jpg              South of Paris...



On the Way to Santiago from Paris

Thanks to Christian Desrosiers


In a previous post Christian was telling us his meeting with the Saint James Tower, in the heart of Paris, France, a landmark of the Way of Saint James.


Ever noticed ? Very often, as you start a long walking pilgrimage, you meet someone who will matter  a lot for you.  A little extra push to keep going...


The pilgrim who starts has also a tendency to exagerate and walk too much on the first day. No exception with Christian. He covers 36 km (23 miles) on the first day ! and the places he expected to stay in were closed or too far...


Exhausted he asks two ladies where he could stay overnight. One of them, Monique, gives him accomodation and invites him for dinner ! "Tired as I was, I accepted, with pleasure, he says. I'm better accomodated than a king, shower, drinks, interesting conversation, and a gorgious meal with her and her son Ludovic."


Thankful, he calls Monique

"my first angel on that long way."

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From America to Santiago 1 Paris

26 Mars 2011, 17:32pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com


"I'm going to hike

as long as I feel

like it."



Paris, on the Way of Saint James

  Thanks to Christian Desrosiers (and Pierre Alglave too).


July 2009.  Christian is 54 years old when he lands from Canada at the Charles de Gaulle airport near Paris. He is starting his way to Santiago de Compostela.


The first thing he wants to do is see Tour Saint Jacques (St James Tower) in the heart of the city. Says he : "This afternoon I've decided to have a look at tomorrow's starting point. I'm glad I did... I visited the cathedral... and St James Tower, by the way it's beautiful ! Let me send you my first picture. After dinner I will go to bed early for I slept few hours only in the plane. I'm fine and feel fit to start walking tomorrow morning. See you, hugs...


And you can trust me, I feel I'm gonna hit the road !..."

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Shells and paintings from Belgium to Santiago

20 Mars 2011, 09:25am

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Giant !


       l5pilgrLE PANNEAU

  Saint Christopher is famous in his role as a ferry-man for a God-Child. "Christopher, you not only carried the whole world on your shoulders, you just carried the One who created the world..."


Before our hero became the patron saint of the travellers, he was, so the legend says, very tall.


Early 15th century : to paint Saint Christopher in his famous triptyc, Van Eyck portrayed Jodocus Vijd's brother. Jodocus Vijd was the burgmester of Gent, Belgium. He commissioned the work of art. You can see him when the altar screen still exhibitted in Saint Bavon cathedral in the same city is folded. 



That brother was a local colossus : big feet, tall body, imposing look...



That is why the characters of the panel seem out of proportions. Saint Christopher wears a purple blanket and he is guiding a crowd of tiny travellers towards the Lamb of God. As if they had not grown enough...


Important detail : two out of those dwarfs at least are pilgrims.


One of them with a simple hair-cut holds a sculpted walking stick. The bearded one before him carries a bag and wears a hat decorated with a scallop shell.



Another proof, if needed, that from North to South of the Continent, from Flemish art to Baroque, the scallop shell is the symbol of the pilgrim. Way of Saint James : the best cultural itinerary in Europe.













l5pilgrLE DETAIL


  A saint James-saint Christopher church in Paris

From Belgium to Spain, the Paris Way.

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Vauhallan Abbey one day off Paris Way of St James

8 Mars 2011, 21:57pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com



Night at the convent.


Peace, silence, serenity, meditation...



The Way of St james from Paris quickly leads you through Coulée Verte and the Verrières Forest, to a vale where the village of Vauhallan nests.




From far away, you can spot the bell tower of the monastery, on the top of a slope. As you rise up, you get closer to the abbey of St Louis du Temple. You may stay overnight at the Benedictine monastery.


A good way to start or resume your pilgrimage. It will remind you the time when mainly monasteries provided accomodation to the pilgrims on their way to Spain.


refectoire2-SCE-SITE-DE-L4ABBAYE.jpg    vie1 SOEURS SCE SITE DE L4ABBAYE    vendredi-saint-SCE-SITE-DE-L4ABBAYE.jpg


The nuns work, study and pray. All day long, they have praying meetings with latin origin strange names :  Matines (very early in the morning), Laudes (the sun has risen), Tierce (third hour of the day at 10 o'clock), Sexte (sixth) and Mass, None (ninth), Vêpres (end of afternoon), Complies (before they go to bed). Depending when you call, you'll be invited to attend a prayer and you won't regret joining them.


The music being played now sounds like what you may hear there : 


the Easter Vespers at their colleagues' at St Michel de Kergonan.


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Julia Cameron walking and Santiago

6 Mars 2011, 21:51pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com


  A mouvement for meditation Photo J F F


Have you ever read  "The artist's Way, A spiritual Path to Higher Creativity" by Julia Cameron ?


The French translation of that best-seller does exist. It would be silly to try to translate it again from French to English, so we won't quote it. 


But Mrs Cameron has an interesting statement about how meditation can be produced by walking and hiking. Would you like to send it ? Do not hesitate.


Publishers : Tarcher / Perigee, Los Angeles

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A Palace or a Château on the Way of St James ?

4 Mars 2011, 23:34pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com



Winter pilgrim, who walked three to four days from Paris, enjoy your luck !





On the Way of St  james, after the pretty church of Gazeran and before St Hilarion's, through the bare branches in the naked forest, you may see, on your right, a white palace, the Château of Voisins, overwhelming the river Guéville. 


A recent building : elevator, service-lift, hidden central and electric heating systems, heating fans in the reception rooms. Twenty-five bedrooms only, regardless of the staff bedrooms.


A special branch of the Compagnie des Chemins de Fer de l'Ouest railtrack was built in 1903, in order to ease the unloading operations for the materials. The stones come from quarries 100 km away, north of Paris. 


Comte de Fels, a diplomat, a historian and a writer had previously married Jeanne Lebaudy, the heiress of the biggest sugar fortune in france before he had the grandiose place built. 


No visits. Only hunting parties in the vast grounds of the estate.


The pilgrim enjoys the proportions and goes on.

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Parks and trees to leave Paris on the Way to Santiago

3 Mars 2011, 22:58pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com



Leaving Paris, needless to take the subway (you can keep your shoes on too).


You will probably start your day at the Tour St Jacques, in the city center. You  must go straight ahead all along, across the Latin Quarter, on St James Street and St James Faubourg. Then go on rue de la Tombe-Issoire and rue du Père Corentin.


In less than 90 minutes you're out of Paris. Just a small suburb town to walk across (Montrouge with its contemporary St James the Major church) and you're in parks, like an introduction to the Ile de France (the Paris region) countryside .




A more accurate view of Coulée Verte 


Coulée Verte of the Parisian south is the land on top of the T.G.V. speed train line tunnel. It is 14 km long and widens as you go further south.


The ideal place to go on your pilgrimage :


- paths all along,
- a bicycle track,
- playgrounds for chidren and for you if you wish,
- sports fields if you think hiking and meditating are not sports enough.


Soon, if you choose the Chartres western way, you'll walk across the Verrières woods, the gentle hills of  Chevreuse and the Rambouillet vast forest...

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Lecture by E2i A success

1 Mars 2011, 19:19pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

A good lecture



In a previous post you were advised about a lecture that took place on January 28, 2011 at  le Perreux sur Marne, near Vincennes close to Paris.


A well organised evening. Two main speakers. One of them managed to introduce five witnesses on the stage among them Pierre Mathe, Chairman of association E2i. Some of the interviewed men and women had walked the Way of Saint James on their own, others walk it with their wife or husband, or with friends, all of them having a different spiritual approach. Slideshows were self-explanatory about the spirit of the way of Saint James.  The audience asked interesting questions. 


Feelings, emotion, sincerity in this lecture. Beautiful statements that give way to the best on the next lectures of this series.

The non - profit organisation  "Enjeu Initiative Insertion" made their project for unemployed and homeless people public... These will be helped by pilgrims to start their own way of Saint James with the hope that walking, meeting other people and doing a few jobs on the way will ease their social insertion. 


The evening ended with a delicious Santiago Cake

made by the local French pastry shop...

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