Camino de Santiago – St. James’s Way – is one of the most important route of pilgrimage from the Middle Ages until today. Camino leads to Santiago de Compostelain Spain, where is the tomb of St. James the Apostle. Since the beginning ofthe ninth century begins the great pilgrimage movement that engulfed the whole of Europe, Poland as well.
Santiago also quickly became one of the most important pilgrimage centers of medieval Europe (together with Jerusalem and Rome, this three pilgrimage were denominated as peregrinationes maiores). Until today,thousands of pilgrims go to the tomb of St.James in Compostela on foo tor by bicycle, realizing a pilgrimage, in which the faith and culture are strongly united. It is not possible to understand this phenomenon without his Christian context: as a rout of conversion and reconciliation. It was no coincidence that John Paul II came to Santiago in 1982 and 1989 and here he delivered his famous“European Act”, and after him do the same Pope Benedict (2010).
Camino became a “transmission belt” for theological and philosophical ideas which created mutual relations, built the vision of the world and awoke a sense of common culture. A visible trace of this cultural dynamics, created in the Middle Ages and based on the theology is also St James’ iconography.
Camino was a specific „environment for the development”, thus a group of important factors which positively led to the interiorisation of religious and cultural components contributing to the creation of a “sense of community” in Europe. Cultural crisis which is experienced in Europe now may find interesting inspirations and an attempt to discover the uniting formula in Camino.