Come to this route with your family and friends

From June 24 to 29, 2019 a group of 28 people walked the path from Pallerols de Rialb to Andorra. The same path that St. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer’s footsteps in the autumn of 1937, fleeing from the dangerous situation caused by the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War.

Most of the group members came from the cities of Valencia (13 people) and Malaga (10 people). All of them were very well received by some guides of Lleida and Girona (5 people), belonging to the Association of Friends of the Camino de Pallerols of Rialb to Andorra.

In the five days of the journey, they covered a total of more than 80 km, with a positive height difference of 4,400 m and negative slope of 3,850 m

The last two days joined the group 13 Irish boys, and the group, already in their entirety arrived together at Sant Julià de Lòria on the 29th to celebrate the “Aplec of St Josemaría”.

One of the members from Malaga summarizes the experience lived as follows:

The group of Malaga that made the Walk was quite colorful. It was formed by 4 parents, three of whom were accompanied by one or two of their children; two university students and a priest. The previous year, one of those parents, Carlos, expressed his desire to make the Pass of the Pyrenees, but back then it was impossible. So he made the self-purpose to do it when it was humanly possible, and this year was the one!

With sufficient previous time he spoke with several friends, and although many expressed their interest, due to the unavoidable professional dates and occupations, three were finally able to carry it out, and some even included some of their children.

Once we arrived at Pallerols we were greeted by Toni, who was always very helpful and focused to make the organization perfect. We also met the great group of the Dardo Club of Valencia with which we shared the journey and with which a friendly relationship was established immediately. We also met our guides Carles and Xavi (Oriol accompanied us in the third stage of Mount Ares), and Ramón (from Girona), the efficient logistics manager. The last two days we were fortunate to share with a group of young people who came from Ireland.

The high temperatures set us up this year and although they made the stages even harder, everything went very well and we concluded very satisfied with the experience.

We arrived in Andorra and we were able to participate in the Holy Mass that was celebrated in the parish church of Sant Julià de Lòria on the occasion of the well-known Aplec of Saint Josemaría.

Javier, another expeditionary from Málaga, explains what he experienced as follows:

A couple of months ago I was proposed to make the Pass of the Pyrenees, emulating the route that in November 1937 St. Josemaría made with a group of young people in order to leave the so-called red zone, and meet with other members of Opus Dei in the safe area and continue with the necessary work of expansion that of the Work.

When they proposed the trip, without hesitation I accepted, but with the certainty that it would be difficult for me to really go due to my professional commitments.

Surprisingly and as the date was approaching, I had no professional commitments and I had no excuses to reject the plan. On the other hand, my desire to start “walking” through these Pyrenean increased.

On June 24 I arrived at Pallerols with great enthusiasm, as well as with the firm intention of taking advantage of every minute of the experience.

Our group from Málaga was joined to another group of young people from Valencia, with whom we quickly became friends despite the age difference.

The journey is hard, there is no easy stage and the heat of each day made each stage even harder. But in spite of feeling fatigue I felt a happiness that is not usual.

As the stages progressed or as the climb became harder, I could not get rid of the hardships that S. Josemaría and his companions had to go through, how in the middle of the night, without means or the slightest comforts, they advanced along the same roads but in conditions that did not resemble mine at all. I was not able to complain!

All the way toke us to think, meditate and to ask us questions such as What is God asking me to do with the life he gave me?

The path became not a walk through nature, but a journey into myself, a journey into that silence that I need so much in my day to day, an experience of the Peace of the Lord.

Perhaps that was the reason why as the days went by, I was tired but happy. Maybe that’s why the concerns I brought on June 24 were disappearing every day. I was aware that it was Jesus himself who had brought me to Pallerols, taking my hand, to live this experience.

The feeling of happiness when we arrived in Andorra, the emotion of praying a prayer to Our Lady in the last meadow, already in Andorran lands, did nothing but increase my desire to repeat the experience and to convince others to come and live it. I promise I will son return to Pallerols with my children.

Finally we finished the trip in the Sanctuary of Torreciudad, where despite of being closed to the public, the Rector guided us through the inside and we were able to give thanks to Our Lady.

Now sitting in front of my computer and carefully reviewing the experiences lived in the past days, I come to the conclusion that all what, those who made that trip more than eighty years ago, lived was heroic. They themselves were perhaps not aware of what they were doing, but it is clear that the title of the book “Dream and your dreams will fall short” is totally providential.

At this point, I’m sure that the experience has been a real gift that the Lord gave me, nothing has been casual. If the path taken in 1937 by St. Josemaría was heroic, it was not because they wanted so, but because God did, because the Work and everything that would come later on is really God’s.