The way of Saint James is a pilgrimage directed to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, situated in Northwestern Spain, where the remains of Saint James the Greater are buried. It is also known as Saint James’ Way or by its Spanish name, el Camino de Santiago. The Way of Saint James began in the ninth century when the Saint's remains were discovered in the Libredón Forest, the place where the city of Santiago de Compostela now stands. Over the course of its 1,200 year history, many saints have joined the Camino: Francis of Assisi, Dominic, Isabel, Brigid, Aloysius of France, Vincent, John XXIII, John Paul II, and many others.
WORKING TITLE: "The Way of Saint James"
GENRE: Documentary, 75-90 mins.
CURRENT STATUS: Pre-production and development phase. Production scheduled for early 2014.
SHOOTING LOCATION: Spain
LOGLINE: Twelve Men. One amazing journey.
SYNOPSIS: In anticipation of the 800th anniversary of Saint Francis of Assisi's pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, a group of young men from the Saint Anne's chapter of Catholics in Action, in Gilbert, Arizona have decided to travel the thousand-year old Way of Saint James this Summer 2014, on a journey that spans over 500 miles across some of the most geographically beautiful landscapes in all of Spain. This documentary will record the experiences of these pilgrims, across 40 unforgettable days, in which they will face difficulties and personal struggles (i.e. physical and psychological stress). It narrates the story of men in search of the goal of our human existence: in search of the meaning of life, and the truth of who they are as men before God.
THE WAY OF SAINT JAMES narrates the story of men in search of the goal of our human existence: redemption and the ultimate meaning of life.
A: Yes. Catholics in Action is a 501(c)(3) organization recognized by the IRS. As such, financial contributions may be deductible for federal income tax purposes. Please consult with your financial adviser to determine the extent of tax deductibility.
Help us go the distance! Your financial contribution is critical to make this important film possible. The pilgrims on this journey offer prayers and gratitude for those who help us carry out this beautiful endeavor.
There are many ways to contribute to this documentary project:
Checks may be made payable to: Catholics in Action
Write in the memo line: Documentary
Mail checks to:
Catholics In Action, Corp.
67 S. Higley Road, Suite 103-193
Gilbert, AZ 85296
The Way of Saint James is paved with the prayers and sacrifices of those who trode its trails. By keeping this whole project in your prayers, and by offering your sacrifices up to God for the completion of this documentary, you will be sharing in the spirituality of the pilgrimage.
“Nothing is equal to prayer, for what is impossible it makes possible, what is difficult, easy” St John Chrysostom.
Spread the Word. Just taking 5 minutes of your time to let others know about The Way of Saint James and this incredible documentary can go a long way for us. Tell your family, acquaintances and friends about this project. Then, let them know to tell their friends and family about this project. It’s up to you to make a personal commitment to make this project go viral online. How? Here are some suggestions.
- Post this website address into your Facebook or Google+ account . Use your Twitter account to let everyone know.
- Click LIKE on our Facebook page.
- Ask your friends to SHARE it on their Facebook pages. Do the same with G+.
- If you have a blog, or you know people who have blogs about the Camino, email them and let them know about this project.
- Email your friends and family. I’m sure you have a family member who lives somewhere else in the United States. Let them know about this project, and tell them that this is something important to you. Make it short and simply encourage them to go to the website and look it up.
Contact us and let us know how excited you are about this documentary and how you can help us make it a reality. We want to know what you feel would make this project better!!
The oldest or most ancient pilgrim route which was utilized by pilgrims who came from Europe was the Northern Route (Camino del Norte), and not the famous French Route (Camino Francés). When the tomb of Saint James was discovered in 814, almost the entire Iberian Peninsula found itself under Muslim control. The few Christian settlements that did exist, were located along the Northern part of the peninsula. The French Route, which is today the most popular route, was not widely used until the 12th Century, as it was deemed unsafe for pilgrims.
Using the Northern Route (or the Coastal Route), these pilgrims used to arrive from the French border or from Cantabrian ports and would continue along the west. There is documentation which attests to the use of this route since the 10th century, that is to say, a few years after the discovery of Saint James' tomb. After this time, kings promoted the French Route, which resulted in the underuse of the Northern Route. Although the Northern Route reaches Santiago, we will detour to Oviedo and from there take the Primitive Route (Camino Primitivo), so called because it was the route used by the first pilgrim of the Camino, Alfonso II, who upon hearing of the existence of Saint James' tomb, left his court in Oviedo and traveled to Santiago de Compostela.
ELEVEN MEN. ONE AMAZING JOURNEY.
Anytime you take eleven men, eleven different souls, and put them together for a prolonged period of time, all aspects of the individuals are put to the test. When you do this amidst a forty day, five-hundred mile journey, each person will come to know sides of each other, and of himself, that he may or may not have known before. The Way of St. James team wants to capture the honesty of this experience in all its rugged and calloused glory. The film will capture the men's experiences: the spiritual, the emotional, the physical, the social, and the intellectual.
In addition to the men journeying to Santiago, the main character of the film will be The Way itself. The men face a major intersection - an intersection of faith and physicality, of emotion and endurance - and do so in the context of The Way, one of the world's most journeyed pilgrimage sites, searching for redemption and the final meaning of life.
ELEVEN MEN. ONE AMAZING JOURNEY. The Way of Saint James narrates the story of men in search of the meaning of life, and the truth of who they are as men before God.
This is Infinito Más Uno's latest feature length documentary about Mary, her impact and how she speaks to us. This film has been viewed in multiple countries including Vatican City where the Holy Father has enjoyed it.
This is the first film created by Inifinito Mas Uno (Inifity Plus One) which took them from simply being a small group of friends...to being a family of a million people. The Last Summit made its debut in 4 Spanish theatres and, in one year, spread to 15 countries with millions of views across threatres, television and internet. Some viewers of the Last Summit found God, whom they did not believe in; others discovered their vocation to the priesthood; there were parents who were going to abort their child and didn't; others who would have, asked for help; believers returned to receive the Sacraments...That's why Infinito Más Uno was born. That's why they created The Last Summit.
The Latin words eultreia and suseia are found in the Codex Calixtinus, a document that dates back to the 12th century. Both words allow for various translations such as: “Onward!”, “Walk further!”, “Keep going!”, “Onward and upward!”, “Onward and even further!” The Codex is considered by many as the first tourist’s guide book in history, and it contains invaluable information on the origin and liturgy related to the veneration of the Apostle, Saint James the Greater. It was an invaluable resource for pilgrims who are on their way to Compostela to venerate his relics.
Singing this simple unpublished melody encourages the pilgrim to keep moving forward on the journey to the tomb of the Apostle. Composed for the 1989 World Youth Day in Santiago de Compostela by Spanish musician and pilgrim, Jose Antonio Esteban Usano, it was used for a week by a group of pilgrims belonging to the Catholic Action Youth Ministry of Cuenca, Spain. This is a recording by one of the pilgrims who will participate in the Way of Saint James this Summer.
The Way of Saint James, also known as El Camino de Santiago, represents a truly authentic challenge for the Church in the 21st century. With the exception of the events organized around the Holy Father, no other event in existence is capable of bringing together as many people as the pilgrimage to the tomb of Saint James the Apostle. According to official statistics, between 200,000 – 300,000 men and women of all ages and circumstances make the journey each year on the road to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Many of the pilgrims who are Catholic make this pilgrimage with a profound sense of faith. Others are in search of life’s deep meaning and, unknowingly, open themselves up to the workings of the Holy Spirit. Still others are nonbelievers who, during these weeks, enter into an experience with God that is strongly immersed in Catholic spirituality.
The Way of Saint James is an ideal environment for evangelization and for the proclamation of Christ to those far away from Him! In this arena, the Church attracts a multitude of people who, for a period of two to six weeks, are open to dialogue, listening, contemplation, and conversion. With the recent increase of highly secularized social media, it is necessary to create a documentary with a true Catholic identity, which will present the Way of Saint James in its original form. Doing so will help the viewer and future pilgrims encounter the authentic Way of Saint James – the original true way that leads to Jesus Christ.
With figures rising significantly in recent years, the United States is ranked fourth among the number of pilgrims who visit Santiago annually. From a commercial point of view, this documentary is a very exciting project. Additionally, it is an international project, when you consider that people from more than 130 countries go to Spain each year in search of something to fill the emptiness of their daily lives. This search is an ineffable universal phenomenon, rooted deeply in the heart of man.
In light of the increasing global media coverage of the Way, we are urged to deliver a Catholic response. We cannot lose ground! As for me, I seek nothing more. I do not want fame, recognition, or money. As a priest, I want Christ to be known, and I wish to help people grow closer to Him. I place in your hands the possibility that, through your financial contribution, we can make something great for the glory of God and for our brothers and sisters. I believe that this project is a magnificent opportunity to evangelize, as it responds to a great demand in the current market. This will be a different type of documentary, one that emphasizes the Camino’s Christian roots. Rarely will you be offered an opportunity so well positioned to reap its benefits.
I ask that you please consider this in prayer and then do what you are personally called to do. Thank you for the time and attention you have given to my request.
May the Lord bless you,
Father Sergio Muñoz Fita
SAINT POPE JOHN PAUL II:
"Santiago de Compostela is a place that has рlауеd a very important role in the history of Christianity; and so, its spiritual message is in itself very eloquent. Throughout the centuries the рlасе has been a 'point of attraction and convergence for Europe and for the whole of Christendom.'
In the world today there is a revival of the practice of going on pilgrimage, especially among the youth. Today, you are among those more inclined to experience a pilgrimage as a 'way' to interior renewal, to a deepening of faith, a strengthening of the sense of communion and solidarity with your brothers and sisters and as a help in discovering your personal vocation."
POPE EMERITUS, BENEDICT XVI:
"I thought about what it is that impels so many people to leave their daily occupations to set out on the penitential journey to Compostela, a way at times long and arduous. It is the desire to reach Christ's light which they yearn for in the depths of their heart, although they are often not very good at expressing it in words.
Pilgrims to Santiago are a people of silent walkers from every part of the world, who rediscover the ancient medieval and Christian tradition of the pilgrimage as they pass through small towns and cities steeped in Catholicism.
I pray that the pilgrims, following in the footsteps of many Saints down the ages who walked the 'Way of Saint James', may continue to keep alive its genuine religious, spiritual and penitential significance, without giving in to banality, distractions or trends."
SAINT JAMES THE GREATER
James the Greater was, along with his brother Saint John, and Saint Peter, one of the three priviledged disciples of Jesus, who nicknamed him “Boanerge”, Son of Thunder.
Since the discovery of his body in Galicia, Spain, on July 25th 814, Santiago de Compostela has become a point of attraction and convergence for Europe as well as for the entire Christendom. Twelve hundred years later (814-1214), our pilgrims will entrust themselves to him as they journey toward the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, which houses his precious relics.
SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI
Francis of Assisi is an Italian saint who lived during the 13th century, and is one the great saints of the Church. Pope Benedict XVI described him as an authentic “giant” of holiness.
“In the beginning of the Order, when there was as yet but few brothers and no convents established, Saint Francis went, out of devotion, to Saint James in Galicia”.
This quote, taken from the book “The Little Flowers,” mentions the pilgrimage of Saint Francis to Santiago de Compostela in 1214, eight centuries ago. With this journey in mind and its anniversary (1214-2014), the youth of Catholics in Action of Saint Anne intend to follow in his footsteps on their way to Santiago.
SAINT POPE JOHN PAUL II
Saint Pope John Paul II is known by all. He was also a pilgrim of Santiago de Compostela, a city he visited on various occasions. Particularly touching was his second visit in 1989, during World Youth Day that he chose to celebrate at the tomb of James the Apostle. The motto of that celebration, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life”, evokes the pilgrimage to Santiago and its profound meaning of encounter with Christ.
The pilgrims will set out to Santiago in the same year in which the Church will enter the Polish Pope in the book of saints.
SAINT IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA
Saint Ignatius of Loyola liked to describe himself as a pilgrim. On their way to Santiago de Compostela, our pilgrims will visit the sanctuary of Azpeitia-Loyola, where he was born in 1491. Thirty years later he experienced a profound conversion in this same town around the year 1521.
The figure of Saint Ignatius is crucial to the understanding of the life of the Church since the 16th century. The founder of the Society of Jesus (also called the Jesuits, to which Pope Francis belongs) contributed through his writings, his apostolic action, and the religious order he founded, to strengthen and propagate the defense of the Catholic faith in continents of ancient Christian tradition (Europe) and new areas of Mission (America, Asia).
BLESSED PIER GIORGIO FRASSATI
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati is a model of Christian life for all men and women of the 21st century. This young man, who died at the age of 24, belonged to Catholic Action, the organizing ministry of the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage. Enthralled by nature, especially mountains, Pier Giorgio frequently participated in outdoor activities with his friends and would say, “Every day that passes, I fall more desperately in love with the mountains. I am ever more determined to climb them, to scale the mighty peaks, to feel that pure joy which can only be felt in the mountains.” Additionally, he was a young lover of the poor and of the Eucharist, as well as a man committed to the political life of his country.
Referring to Pier Giorgio, John Paul II said: “I, too, in my youth, felt the beneficial influence of his example, and, as a student, I was impressed by the force of his Christian testimony. I wish everyone, especially the youth, to draw inspiration and encouragement from his short but radiant life of consistent Christian witness”.