Destination Compostelle

En Route vers Santiago...

Les symboles du pèlerinage

Tout pèlerin se pose tôt ou tard la question: “Mais pourquoi est-ce que je fais cela? Ai-je vraiment besoin de marcher pendant des semaines vers une ville où je ne connais personne?”. Et le fait est que se rendre en pèlerinage à Saint-Jacques de Compostelle est un acte hautement symbolique.

Je souhaite aujourd’hui revenir sur tous les symboles du quotidien d’un pèlerin, et voir en quoi ils font de ce Chemin une métaphore de la vie. Ceci est d’ailleurs un thème fréquent lors des conversations qui ont lieu sur le Camino.

Le plus important de ces symboles est la flèche jaune. Du début à la fin, c’est elle qui nous montre le chemin. À chaque intersection, lorsqu’il faut changer de trottoir, ou simplement pour nous rappeler que l’on se trouve sur le bon chemin, elle redonne confiance au pèlerin. Marcher pendant plusieurs centaines de mètres sans apercevoir de flèche jaune peut se révéler anxiogène pour certains, et c’est toujours avec grand soulagement qu’on la retrouve. Un certain Jésus disait “Je suis le Chemin, la Vérité, la Vie.”

C’est par ici!

Un autre élément symbolique est le sac-à-dos. Bien sûr, quand on l’a sur le dos, on se rend vite compte que c’est un symbole qui peut peser lourd, parfois même un peu trop. Mais c’est en fait la meilleure façon de prendre conscience de l’importance de voyager léger, et de ne pas s’encombrer de choses inutiles. Tout comme dans la vie. Il peut arriver des moments dans notre existence où nous essayons de trop en faire, ce qui nous empêche d’avancer. Réaliser un pèlerinage à Compostelle est une parfaite occasion pour “vider son sac”.

Plus que dix kilomètres à le porter 🙂

Le symbole suivant, que j’ai déjà évoqué dans mon article sur les ampoules, est le pansement. La souffrance fait partie du Camino, et est nécessaire au pèlerinage, si l’on souhaite que celui-ci nous apporte quelque chose. Mais pourquoi donc? En quoi la souffrance est-elle indispensable? Les pèlerins sont-ils masochistes? Il ne faut pas oublier que dans la plupart des traditions religieuses, le cheminement de la vie est douleur. Et nous devons apprendre à nous adapter et à avancer, malgré nos blessures et les difficultés que nous rencontrons.

Ça pique.

Il y a bien sûr le bâton du pèlerin. Lui aussi symbolise une dimension de la vie, à savoir ce sur quoi nous nous appuyons et le soutien que nous recevons de notre prochain. Bien sûr, il représente aussi toutes les fois ou nous pouvons nous-même devenir un bâton pour les autres.

Bâtons d’antan et de maintenant…

Et enfin, le symbole le plus célèbre de tous est la coquille Saint-Jacques. De fait, elle a été nommée ainsi à cause du pèlerinage. Cela vient du fait que les pèlerins ont instauré très tôt la coutume de ramener une coquille de leur pèlerinage, pour symboliser qu’ils avaient connu un renouveau. Les pèlerins spéculent allègrement quant à la symbolique a attribuer à la coquille Saint-Jacques. Certains disent qu’on y voit les différentes routes pour se rendre à Santiago, d’autres qu’elle est un symbole des bonnes oeuvres de Jésus… Le fait est qu’on la retrouve régulièrement le long du Chemin, et gravée à l’entrée de la plupart des édifices religieux qui y sont présents.

Même si l’on vient du Tadjikistan, on porte une coquille Saint-Jacques !

Voilà. Ce sont les symboles que j’ai trouvés être les plus représentatifs du Chemin de Compostelle après y avoir marché pendant un mois. Cela m’intéresserait de savoir: y a-t-il d’autres choses que tu associes avec le Chemin de Compostelle? Connais-tu des symboles en relations avec d’autres pèlerinages?

À bientôt pour un nouvel article!

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Dan Sylvain

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J’écris des articles pendant un pèlerinage à Saint-Jacques de Compostelle. Toi aussi, commence à écrire en français et réponds-moi en commentaires!

Dan

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