Pope Francis sent a letter of gratitude to a Spanish teen with an intellectual disability after the 15-year-old travelled more than 60 miles along the famed Camino de Santiago de Compostela.
In a letter signed 21st July and published on the website of the Diocese of Malaga, Spain, the pope said he learned of Alvaro Calvante’s journey after receiving a letter from the pilgrim’s father.
‘Thank you, Alvaro, for being inspired to walk and inviting many others to walk with you,’ the pope wrote. ‘Amid the pandemic we are experiencing, with your simplicity, joy and humility, you were able to put into motion the hope of many of the people you met on the road or through social networks.
‘You went on pilgrimage and made many people go on pilgrimage, encouraging them not to be afraid and to recover their joy because, on the road, we never go alone. The Lord always walks beside us. Thank you for your testimony and prayers,’ he wrote.
According to the diocese, Calvante is the seventh of 10 brothers and is a member of the Neocatechumenal Way in a parish in Malaga.
Picture: A pilgrim is seen making the journey from southern France to Santiago de Compostela, Spain – a famous Catholic pilgrimage site – in this 2018 photo. The shot was taken during filming of the 2018 PBS documentary Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago, which follows pilgrims as they make the popular 500-mile hike. (CNS photo/courtesy CaminoDocumentary.org).