Credencial or pilgrim’s passport
Most pilgrims carry a document called the compostela, a certificate of completion of the pilgrimage.
Most often the stamp can be obtained refugio, cathedral, or local church. If the church is closed, the town hall or office of tourism can provide a stamp, as well as nearby youth hostels or private St. James addresses. Many of the small restaurants and cafes along the Camino also provide stamps. Outside Spain, the stamp can be associated with something of a ceremony, where the stamper and the pilgrim can share information. As the pilgrimage approaches Santiago, many of the stamps in small towns are self-service due to the greater number of pilgrims, while in the larger towns there are several options to obtain the stamp.
The compostela is available; in the case of “other” there is a simpler certificate in Spanish.
The indulgenced since the Early Middle Ages and remains so to this day.
The full text of the certificate is in Latin translated in English reads:
The CHAPTER of this holy apostolic and metropolitan Church of Compostela, guardian of the seal of the Altar of the blessed Apostle James, in order that it may provide authentic certificates of visitation to all the faithful and to pilgrims from all over the earth who come with devout affection or for the sake of a vow to the shrine of our Apostle St. James, the patron and protector of Spain, hereby makes known to each and all who shall inspect this present document that [Name] has visited this most sacred temple for the sake of pious devotion. As a faithful witness of these things I confer upon him [or her] the present document, authenticated by the seal of the same Holy Church.
Given at Compostela on the [day] of the month of [month] in the year of the Lord [year].
Deputy Canon for Pilgrims
The Pilgrim’s Office gives more than 100,000 compostelas each year to pilgrims from more than 100 different countries.
A Pilgrim’s Mass is held in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela each day at noon for pilgrims. Pilgrims who received the jostle happily as they crowd forward to reach the spiritual highlight of the Mass, the rite of communion. Priests administer the Sacrament of Penance, or confession, in many languages, permitting most pilgrims to complete the indulgence attached to the pilgrimage upon satisfying the other canonical conditions. In the Holy Year of 2010 the Pilgrim’s Mass was exceptionally held four times a day, at 10:00 a.m., noon, 6:00 p.m., and 7:30 p.m., catering for the greater number of pilgrims arriving in the Holy Year.
Camino de Santiago • Locations & Activities