What’s the Credential?


The revitalization of the St. James Way , ccurred in the last years, has led to the creation of an official model of the pilgrim’s Credential (Pilgrim’s passport).  

Printed on card, it consists of 14 panels which open like an accordion. The first and the last page are the ones which you can see on the left of the screen. The first page functions as a letter of recommendation and should be filled in with the pilgrim’s details by the parish, Christian Association, Abbey, brotherhood… etc, issuing it. At the foot is the space in which, fulfilled the pilgrimage, the Pilgrim’s Office of Santiago will put the date and the last stamp, while granting the Compostela.

The second page and the next five, are destined to place the stamps (required a minimum of 2 daily stamps with their respective date) with the certification of having passed through hostels, churches, fraternities…etc. The reverse shows a series of maps of the different routes of the Way of Santiago. Finally, one of the pages contains the following directions for use: 

Necessary considerations

This Credential is only for the use of those pilgrims who will walk, go on horseback or cycle and who desire to make the pilgrimage with a Christian motivation or at least in the spirit of searching it. It is intended to identify the pilgrim. Therefore the issuing organisation must be a parish, a confraternity…etc. The Credential does not generate rights on the pilgrim. It has two practical purposes:

1. Admission to those hostels which offer Christian hospitality along the way.

2. To obtain the Compostela" at the Cathedral of Santiago, which certifies that the pilgrimage has been completed. The Compostela is only issued to those who have made the pilgrimage with a Christian motivation: devotonis affectul vel voti pietatis causa – motivated by devotion, a vow or piety. It is also only issued to those who arrive at the Tomb of the Apostle having travelled on foot or on horseback the last 100kms, or 200kms by bicycle.

The Pilgrim Credential can only be issued by the Church through its own structures (Dioceses, parishes, confraternities...etc, or other bodies authorized by the Church. This is the only way the Credential can be obtained from the S.A.M.I. Cathedral of Santiago (Jornadas sobre el Año Santo: noviembre 1993).

The bearer of the Credential accepts these conditions. This page finishes with the following blessing, from the Calixtinus Codex, written in the twelfth century:


"In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, receive this pouch, habit for your pilgrimage, so that, punished and corrected, you hasten to prostrate at Saint James’ feet, where you yearn to arrive and, after having completed your journey, you come to us delighted with the help of God, who rules over the world without end. Amen. Receive this staff as support for the journey and your efforts during your pilgrimage so that you are able to defeat the throngs of enemies and thus arrive safely at Saint James’ feet and, after having completed your journey, you come to us delighted with the consent of the same God, who lives in and rules over Heaven without end. Amen"

Source: Pilgrim’s Office

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