What is the Compostela?

When talking about Compostela we find a lot of information which has been transmitted from mouth to mouth and therefore over time has become a truth in the ears of many. But in this article we will try to give light and explain the true history and meaning of the Compostela.

What is the Compostela?

It is a certificate issued by the Cathedral of Santiago to certify that it has been pilgrimage to the Tomb of Santiago. This document, when issued by the Church, has requirements that must be met.

  • The pilgrimage to Santiago has to be for religious or spiritual reasons, or it is also allowed to do it in an attitude of search.
  • At least the last 100 km must be completed. on foot or on horseback. And in the case of doing the Camino by bicycle they must be 200 km.
  • You must stamp your pilgrim's credential in the places where you pass and sleep. It is preferable if these are from churches, shelters, monasteries, cathedrals ... anywhere that is related to the Camino. In the absence of these, it can be sealed in town halls, cafeterias, etc. For those who only do the last 100 km. They must seal at least twice a day.

What does Compostela give you?

Formerly it gave the right to spend three days free at the Royal Hospital, which today is the current Hostal de los Reyes Católicos. Today, in memory of those days that the Catholic Monarchs through the Hospital Real Foundation welcomed the pilgrim, a voucher is given for a meal at the Hostal de los Reyes Católicos to the first 10 pilgrims who collect the Compostela every day.

What if I don't finish my way in Santiago?

It is allowed to do the Camino in stages, as long as they are arranged chronologically and geographically. And we must seal at the end and start our stages. In other words, if I end up in Logroño, I will have to start sealing again in Logroño again. In this way it is allowed that if for any reason we have to abandon or want to carry out the Camino in several years or in several months, all stages and km will be recognized. made.

The children and the pilgrimage

Children who make the pilgrimage with their parents or in groups, and who have received the sacrament of Communion, or who have the ability to understand what the spiritual or religious nature of Camino, can receive the "Compostela". If they are not mature enough due to their young age, they are awarded a special certificate with their names. In the case of babies or very young children, their names are included in the “Compostela” of their parents or the accompanying adult.

Distance traveled certificate

In the event that we do not make the pilgrimage with any religious or search sense we can have access to this document that certifies the kilometers made to reach Santiago. Pilgrims with the Compostela may also obtain it in order to certify the distance of their Pilgrimage. It is somewhat larger than the Compostela and comes in a parchment paper and decorated with images of the Calixtino Codex.

A couple of tips

Many Pilgrims carry two Credentials, one of their own and the other of a loved one who could not make the Camino (a deceased relative, etc.). In the Credential there is a place to dedications, being able to state in the Compostela the name of the person to whom the pilgrimage is dedicated.

Do not forget fill in personal data of the Credential, it is incredible the large number of Pilgrims who finally access the counter without having filled in the information: name, date, start of the Pilgrimage, on foot, by bike, etc.

Take advantage of your mobile camera to go taking photos to each page of your Credential. It is possible that at some point you can lose it and these photos will be very helpful to certify your Pilgrimage to the Pilgrim's Welcome Office if you are unlucky enough to lose your Credential.

Other certificates

Only for Pilgrims:
- The Compostela (the one we just talked about).
- The Compostela of English Way from A Coruña.
- Certificate of Welcome.
- Certificate of Distance.

For any visitor:
- Certificate of Head to. Issued at the headquarters of the Archconfraternity of the Apostle Santiago in the Plaza de la Quintana.

Compostela Text

La Compostela comes in Latin, and its translation into Spanish is as follows:

«The Cabildo of this Apostolic and Metropolitan Church Compostelana Cathedral Church custodian of the seal of the Altar of Santiago Apostle, to all the Faithful and pilgrims who arrive from any part of the Earth Orb with an attitude of devotion or because of vote or promise pilgrim to the Tomb of the Apostle, Our Patron and Protector of Spain, accredits before all who observe this document that: D. …………… has devotedly visited this most sacred Temple with a Christian meaning (pietatis causa). »

"In faith of which I present this document endorsed with the seal of this same Holy Church."

«Given in Santiago de Compostela the day ……… month …………… year of the Lord ……….»

«The Deputy Canon for Pilgrims.»

When talking about Compostela we find a lot of information which has been transmitted from mouth to mouth and therefore over time has become a truth in the ears of many. But in this article we will try to give light and explain the true history and meaning of the Compostela.

It is a certificate issued by the Cathedral of Santiago to certify that it has been pilgrimage to the Tomb of Santiago. This document, when issued by the Church, has requirements that must be met.

  • The pilgrimage to Santiago has to be for religious or spiritual reasons, or it is also allowed to do it in an attitude of search.
  • At least the last 100 km must be completed. on foot or on horseback. And in the case of doing the Camino by bicycle they must be 200 km.
  • You must stamp your pilgrim's credential in the places where you pass and sleep. It is preferable if these are from churches, shelters, monasteries, cathedrals ... anywhere that is related to the Camino. In the absence of these, it can be sealed in town halls, cafeterias, etc. For those who only do the last 100 km. They must seal at least twice a day.

Formerly it gave the right to spend three days free at the Royal Hospital, which today is the current Hostal de los Reyes Católicos. Today, in memory of those days that the Catholic Monarchs through the Hospital Real Foundation welcomed the pilgrim, a voucher is given for a meal at the Hostal de los Reyes Católicos to the first 10 pilgrims who collect the Compostela every day.

It is allowed to do the Camino in stages, as long as they are arranged chronologically and geographically. And we must seal at the end and start our stages. In other words, if I end up in Logroño, I will have to start sealing again in Logroño again. In this way it is allowed that if for any reason we have to abandon or want to carry out the Camino in several years or in several months, all stages and km will be recognized. made.

Children who make the pilgrimage with their parents or in groups, and who have received the sacrament of Communion, or who have the ability to understand what the spiritual or religious nature of Camino, can receive the "Compostela". If they are not mature enough due to their young age, they are awarded a special certificate with their names. In the case of babies or very young children, their names are included in the “Compostela” of their parents or the accompanying adult.

In the event that we do not make the pilgrimage with any religious or search sense we can have access to this document that certifies the kilometers made to reach Santiago. Pilgrims with the Compostela may also obtain it in order to certify the distance of their Pilgrimage. It is somewhat larger than the Compostela and comes in a parchment paper and decorated with images of the Calixtino Codex.

Many Pilgrims carry two Credentials, one of their own and the other of a loved one who could not make the Camino (a deceased relative, etc.). In the Credential there is a place to dedications, being able to state in the Compostela the name of the person to whom the Pilgrimage is dedicated.

Do not forget fill in the personal details of the Credential, it is incredible the large number of Pilgrims who finally access the counter without having filled in the information: name, date, start of the Pilgrimage, on foot, by bike, etc.

Take advantage of your mobile camera and take photos of each page of your Credential. It is possible that at some point you can lose it and these photos will be very helpful to certify your Pilgrimage to the Pilgrim's Welcome Office if you are unlucky enough to lose your Credential.
Only for Pilgrims:
- The Compostela (the one we just talked about).
- The Compostela of Camino English from A Coruña.
- Certificate of Welcome.
- Certificate of Distance.

For any visitor:
- Certificate of Head to. Issued at the headquarters of the Archconfraternity of the Apostle Santiago in the Plaza de la Quintana.

The Compostela comes in Latin, the Spanish translation would be like this:

"The Cabildo of this Apostolic and Metropolitan Cathedral Compostelana Cathedral is the custodian of the seal of the Altar of Santiago Apostle, to all the Faithful and pilgrims who arrive from any part of the Earth Orb with an attitude of devotion or because of vote or promise pilgrim to the Tomb of the Apostle, Our Patron and Protector of Spain, accredits before all those who observe this document that: D. …………… has devotedly visited this most sacred Temple with Christian meaning (pietatis causa). "

"In faith of which I present this document endorsed with the seal of this same Holy Church."

"Given in Santiago de Compostela the day ……… month …………… year of the Lord ………."

"The Deputy Canon for the Pilgrims."