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THE TWELFTH CENTURY ACCOUNT OF THE PILGRIMAGE TO SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA IN NORTHWESTERN SPAIN DESCRIBES FOUR ROADS THROUGH FRANCE WHICH WERE JOINED IN SPAIN TO FORM A SINGLE ROAD. THE COURSE OF THESE ROADS WAS DETERMINED BY NUMEROUS SAINTS’ RELICS WHICH PILGRIMS WERE CALLED UPON TO VISIT ALONG THE WAY

The Compostelan Saints

TOURS ROAD

Via Turonensis 

Tours

Melle

Parthenay-le-Vieux

Parthenay-le-Vieux: The Romanesque Rider

Bordeaux: Saint Severinus

Belin

Saint Romain de Blaye

Blaye

Saint Etienne de Tauriac

Bordeaux: Saint-Seurin

TOULOUSE ROAD

Via Tolosana – One crosses Saint-Gilles, Montpellier, Toulouse, and the pass of Somport

First of all, those who go to Santiago by way of Saint-Gilles must visit in Arles the remains of the Blessed Trophimus the confessor

In no cemetery anywhere, except in this one, can one find so many and so large marble tombs set upon the ground

The Saints of Provence: Arriving from the region of Jerusalem, they went by sea as far as the country of Provence

Sainte Marthe de Tarascon: Between Arles and Avignon by the banks of the Rhône there roamed a beast in that place whose breath exhaled a pestilential mist.

Saint Gilles-du-Gard: After the Prophets and the Apostles, nobody among the other saints is more worthy

Les Saintes Maries de la Mer: In the Province of Narbonne, where the Rhône reaches the sea are the Islands of Sticados more commonly known at the Camargue. It is there on the shore of the sea that one finds the first of all churches of the continent

Saint-Pierre de Maguelone

Montpellier: Notre Dame des Tables

Béziers: With the rest of the gold and silver that he brought from Spain he constructed another church of Saint James in the city of Beziers

Saint Guilhem le Désert

Saint Pons de Thomières

Saint Pierre de Rhèdes

Oloron-Sainte-Marie: At the foot of the mountain on the Gascon side

Thereafter, having cleared the pass of the Somport, one finds the country of Aragon

The River Rhône

Saint Gabriel

Saint Trophimus

Saint Caesarius

Saint Honoratus

The tombs of the paladins at the Alyscans

PUY ROUTE

Via Podensis – Another goes through Notre-Dame of Le Puy, Sainte-Foy of Conques and Saint-Pierre of Moissac

Bishop Godescalc departed from Aquitaine to offer prayers

Conques: Long ago the holy martyr’s body was secretly carried away from the city of Agen and brought to Conques by two monks

Conques: Even the Deep Recesses of Erebus Lie Open as She Leads Souls from the Underworld

Aubrac: Notre-Dame-des-Pauvres

LIMOGES ROAD

Via Lemivocensis – Thereupon, on the route that through Saint-Leonard stretches towards Santiago, the most worthy remains of the Blessed Mary Magdalene must first of all be rightly worshipped by the pilgrims.

How the relics of blessed Mary Magdalene came to the French town of Vézelay ought to be commented on briefly

The cult of Mary Magdalene: Thereupon, on the route that through Saint-Leonard stretches towards Santiago, the most worthy remains of the Blessed Mary Magdalene must first of all be rightly worshipped by the pilgrims

Saint Révérien

Nevers

La Charité-sur-Loire

Bourges

Charost

Déols

Neuvy-Saint-Sépulchre

Gargilesse

La Souterraine

Bénévent l’Abbaye

One must likewise visit the sacred remains of the Blessed Leonard the Confessor who was born into a most noble Frankish family and renounced the wicked world for the love of the supreme Numen.

Saint Martial de Limoges

Saint Front-de-Périgeux: After the Blessed Leonard, one must visit in the city of Perigueux the remains of the Blessed Fronto, bishop and confessor who was ordained as bishop in Rome by Peter

ARAGON CAMINO

Aragonese Camino

Santa Cruz de la Seros

San Juan de la Peña

Santa Maria de Eunate

Santa Cruz de la Seros: The door of heaven opens when he opens this one

Jaca: Having climbed over the summit

Jaca: Behold the Lion of Judah

CAMINO FRANCÈS

There are four roads which, leading to Santiago, converge to form a single road at Puente la Reina, in Spanish territory

Estella: The fourth days’ journey from Estella to Najera is to be made, to be sure on horseback

Sangüesa

Santo Domingo de Silos

Frómista San Martín: The sixth proceeds from Burgos to Frómista

In the City of Leon there are to be venerated the relics of the blessed Isidore, who permeated the Hispanic nation with his doctrines and decorated the holy church with the flower of his writing

The names of those who restored the road

Of the day’s journey on the Apostle’s road

Of the names of towns on this road

Pilgrims are given a stone to carry with them

From the mountains of the Pyrenees to the city of Najéra

After this valley lies the land of the Navarrese

Villamayor de Monjardín

Sahagún: The Miracle of the Lances

Roncevaux

Roncevaux: Face with these legions the whole of Spain trembled

 

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