Dominic and Petra trying to figure out how we are going to split up the rosary.

Today as we were enjoying our hike between Burguete to Larrasoaña, I noticed a group of three men, all around 60 years old, with rosaries in their hands. With a quick peak, I could see they were on the third decade. I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to connect with some fellow Catholics and to join them in prayer.  I asked my nephew, Dominic, to race ahead and catch up with them while I helped my daughter along.

When we finally caught up with them, we found that they were indeed praying the rosary, but in a language neither English nor Spanish. Undeterred, we followed along, saying the refrains in English. Eventually, they realized that we were trying to pray with them.

With the help of Google Translate, we struck up a conversation in Polish after our prayer concluded. They shared that they were friends who had walked the Camino several times together, exploring different routes. When they learned about our stopping plans for the night, they graciously adjusted theirs so we could continue our fellowship.

That evening, we met up at a local bar and continued our conversation through Google Translate. One of them asked if I had ever heard of Our Lady of Czestochowa and shared that they had made that pilgrimage 10 times. If I’m honest, the first 3 times he said it I told him no, I was not familiar with that devotion since I could not hear his words clearly.  However, when he pulled out a holy card with the image of Our Lady, I immediately recognized the image of Our Lady of Czestochowa.   He encouraged me to add that pilgrimage to my list and then handed me the holy cards with a handwritten note on it (I still have yet to translate it). Still mourning the loss of his wife two years earlier, he spoke of how the pilgrimage helped him process the loss. 

As we prepared to part ways, they asked about our plans for the following day. We agreed to set out at 7:30 am and decided to pray a rosary together before arriving in Pamplona today.