The Retablo of Navarette

Retablo: a devotional painting, especially a small popular or folk art one using iconography derived from traditional Catholic church art. More generally retablo is also the Spanish term for a retable or reredos above an altar, whether a large altarpiece painting or an elaborate wooden structure with sculptures. (from Wikipedia) A few days ago I … More The Retablo of Navarette

The Abbey

The photos last week caught my attention. The chapel, covered in snow. The lone pilgrim, covered in a poncho but soldiering on. I knew this place, and the people who guarded pilgrims along this stretch of road. Although when I’d passed by, the sky was grey and full of rain, not snow. From Walking to … More The Abbey

The Surprising Story Behind the Sculpture on Alto del Perdón

Twelve kilometers after Pamplona, past the fields of grasses splashed with red poppies (or the fields of dry dirt, depending on the time of year), the crumbling monasteries, and the towering hay bales, and up a steep set of switchbacks, the Camino Frances arrives at Alto de Perdón, the Mount of Forgiveness.   I’ve stood … More The Surprising Story Behind the Sculpture on Alto del Perdón

Saint James Matamoros: the Fake News of the Last Millennium

It’s impossible to walk the Way of Saint James, the Camino de Santiago, without encountering images of Saint James. Which makes sense – we are on a journey to his recognized grave, after all. Without James the Greater, brother of John and the first of Jesus’ disciples to be martyred, there would never have been … More Saint James Matamoros: the Fake News of the Last Millennium