Despite the hard road, our joy was immense

On July 12, seven residents of the Colegio Mayor Olabidea, in Pamplona, ​​undertook a journey that would take us to relive the footsteps that Saint Josemaría made through the Pyrenees in 1937.

On our arrival at Pallerols we were greeted by Ramón, who, thanks to the explanations he gave us -keeping us all expectant- managed to transfer our minds to those years.

During this week we carry out 5 stages.

The first day we went from Peramola to the Casa del Corb, a little “training” to warm up our muscles, since the second stage, possibly the hardest of the route, was from La Ribalera, climbing the mountain of Aubenç, to Les Masies de Nargó.

In this second stage we had the great luck of being able to celebrate Holy Mass in La Ribalera. It was a moment to be thankful, and it also gave us the strength we needed to be able to climb the Jaça canal successfully.

Our third stage began in Les Masies de Nargó and ended in Fenollet, where we were able to eat in the same place where Saint Josemaría and his companions received their last proper meal, before arriving in Andorra.

On the fourth day we started at the River of Civís, we climbed the Cabra Morta, and we reached Sant Julià de Lòria. Once in Andorra, we first went to pray at the church of Sant Julià de Lòria, where years ago Saint Josemaría was able to pray with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament after long months of not being able to enter a church with worship. Then we were able to enjoy a very cold and well-deserved refreshment.

On the last day we went up to the Saint Raphael’s Cabin, where for the second time we had the great luck of being able to attend Holy Mass, in a place as spectacular and unusual as La Ribalera. Finally, after these days walking, we ended this experience with a good afternoon on the river.

During these stages, while some looked like goats climbing the mountain and others climbed at their own pace from behind, sighing from time to time, phrases such as “To climb this, they would have to be all saints by now” or “girls, do not stop to be heard they cool down the muscles “. However, with the encouragement of one another, the music that sounded from a loudspeaker, the songs sung at the top of our lungs, the laughter, and wanting to put ourselves in the shoes of a November 1937 with cold, hunger, darkness and in espadrilles, arrivals at the top became more enjoyable and celebrated with great joy.

Other brave people decided to spend a night sleeping in the “oven”, where Saint Josemaría would spend one of the greatest dark nights of his life.

I do not want to leave the great detail of those “war wounds” (as some called them) in the legs and arms due to the bushes that surrounded the road, nor those dinners in the open air watching the sunset, a little while of prayer with mountain views or that last day in Torreciudad giving thanks for this great experience, which we will certainly repeat.