One of the traditions of the Camino de Santiago, is for pilgrims to carry rocks with them on their journey. The rocks can symbolize the burden of the Pilgrim’s sins, a loved one whose memory they are carrying, or prayers and concerns for others that the pilgrim is bearing along the Way.
Some of these burdens are left along the Way at a milladoiro, a pile of rocks marking the path or a crossroads. Others are carried to the end of the journey, letting go of them being the final step of the pilgrimage.
As a hiker, I realize how important it is to ruthlessly pare any unnecessary weight from your pack. For a pilgrim to carry such ‘useless’ weight intentionally for their entire journey speaks volumes to their devotion. Finally giving up their burden must be such a blessed relief.
Relief from our burdens isn’t just for peregrinos. We can all lighten our way by casting our sins and burdens at the foot of the cross.
Remember, faith works!