CAMINO FRANCES: DAY 22
Camino Frances day 22.
DAY 22 | 26 km | From Bercianos to Mansilla de Las Mulas
The moment one starts the Camino gets a "passport" which is stamped on every albergue one stays or in places like churches, restaurants and cafes. This serves as a proof that these people have made the journey by showing all the places they went through and at the end they are given a certificate that they have completed the Camino. To get the certificate they have to walk for the last 100 km or ride a bicycle or horse for the last 200 km.
The passport was created as a necessity. Back in the medieval years only the Scallop Shell could prove that someone was a pilgrim, but many people took advantage of this fact, being able to get the certificate certifying that they have completed the Camino only with having the Shell.
In the 12th century the Pope had announced that anyone who completed the Camino would be forgiven of sins and could enter paradise. The certificate at that time was a very important document as people believed that having it meant that Saint Peter would open the gates of paradise. Having completed the Camino at that time, also, meant social recognition.
So the church decided that each place would have its seal to certify the pilgrim's stay.