Camino Jubilee Year in Spain

The Cave of St Ignatius in Manresa
The Cave of St Ignatius in Manresa

The Jesuits in Spain will be launching the first Jubilee Year of the Ignatian Camino from Loyola to Manresa on the feast day of Saint Ignatius of Loyola 31 July 2015. In Christianity, a jubilee is a special year of God’s mercy and is often associated with a pilgrimage.  They have also announced that the Ignatian Camino is being established as an official Apostolic Work of the Society of Jesus, to ensure that the Ignatian Camino retains its focus on Ignatian spirituality.

The first Jubilee Year will end on the 31 July 2016; and there will be a second Jubilee Year from 2021 to 2022, to mark 500 years since the conversion of Saint Ignatius and his pilgrimage from Loyola to Manresa.

After being injured in battle at Pamplona in 1521, Ignatius spent many months in Manresa, often living in primitive natural caves along the riverside. Today this period is commemorated in a chapel known as La Cueva (the cove) where Ignatius wrote in his autobiography about the many insights he gleaned about spirituality.The Ignatian Way, Spain

Profound spiritual enlightenment

The Ignatian Way recreates the route that Ignatius of Loyola, being a knight, followed from Loyola to Manresa, with the opportunity to experience a pilgrimage that follows his own spiritual journey. The route begins at his birthplace in Spain’s Basque country, in a village near the small town of Azpeitia. From there, the route proceeds for hundreds of kilometres, through picturesque mountains, deserts and verdant plains, before ending in the town of Manresa (near Barcelona). Ignatius rested in this town for some months after his journey through Spain, and Manresa was a place of profound spiritual enlightenment for him. Here he composed the essence of his spiritual masterpiece, the Spiritual Exercises.

According to the custodians of La Cueva: “Pilgrims along the Camino Ignaciano (the Ignatian Camino or Ignatian Way) will walk virtually the same route that Ignatius did, pass through many towns that he did, pray at churches where he worshipped, and marvel at the same natural wonders that he saw.”

Read pilgrims’ recent accounts of this pilgrimage:

Sebastian Cichocki, who is on the staff of the Mount Street Jesuit Community in central London, undertook it in 2014.

Richard Webster and Bastiaan van Rooijen are following the route as part of their novitiate.

The Ignatian Immersion Course at the Cave of St Ignatius in Manresa runs from late April to early June 2016.