Francisco Sancho, originally Spanish, then resident in Vicenza, transformed his pilgrimage in a full expression of Christian life. He has been walking for many years along all the key European pilgrim routes. We have met him in Champlitte on the 10th of March.
Luca Bruschi, director of the European Association of the Via Francigena ways, with Jacques Chevin, responsible for the development of the Swiss and French sections of the Via Francigena, met the pilgrim in Champlitte, starting point of the 40th stage of the Via. The city, since 2016, hosts the French EAVF headquarters. This morning, the city mayor Patrice Colinet gave his greeting and welcomed the traveler in town.
Francisco, with his pluriannual walk, is bringing forward his project “Walk of Light”: a trip in which, at each stage, he spares a moment of prayer and lights a candle, to leave, by the end of the journey, a “trail of light” and serenity.
- 2014: together with backpack, walking stick and faith, he left from the doorstep of the Basilica dei Santi Pietro e Paolo in Rome to start an itinerary that brought him to the tomb of Saint James in Compostela.The way back brought him to Le Puy en Velay, to surpass the Alps in the Val di Susa, and cross the north and center of Italy to reach Assisi and then return to Rome along the footsteps of San Francesco.
- 2015/2016: he leaves towards Santiago de Compostela and, passing by Brussels, he pushes himself up to Norway, where he visits the tomb of Sant’Olaf a Trondheim. He goes back to Rome passing through Cracow in occasion of the World Youth Day in 2016.
- 2019/ today: the 6th of July 2019 he starts a spiritual journey to Santa Maria di Leuca with the aim of connecting all the major faith destinations in Europe, the same ones that pilgrims and wayfarers walked since the Middle Ages. He expects to return to Santa Maria di Leuca for Easter 2021.
This is how Francisco shares his story:
“I already walked, during my 25 years of pilgrimage, most of these routes. I collected unforgettable experiences, met extraordinary people, who became my best friends. I collected witnesses, images, stories and episodes, but I also learned about pain, unbearable difficulties, I looked into the most hidden and dark faces of my soul, I met the uncertainty of living…with no doubt, the man who left is not the same one that returns.
In every place I crossed, I lit a lumen, recited a prayer and attempted to bring serenity, so that, when I will look back at the end of my journey, I will see a trail of light, a “Walk of Light”.
When I return, I wish to tell the story of my journey, physical and spiritual, through a series of photography exhibitions, across various Italian cities. My dream is to share with everyone my life experience and possibly get people closer to the idea of walking, meant as a spiritual and cathartic experience… Only God knows how much, today, it is necessary to slow down, at a walking pace, have the opportunity to meditate and observe the beauty of the world that surrounds us”.
It is possible to support Francisco Sancho’s journey here. The fundraiser will allow him to:
- Complete the Walk of Light, contributing to the little resources he needs to sustain himself: some food and a bed for the night;
- Organize events “Walk of Light” around Italy. “Walk of Light” is a photography exhibition that tells the story of his pilgrimage in Europe;
- Create and moderate a Facebook community, where anyone – pilgrims, wayfarers, passionate followers and interested people can share experience, suggestions, and support each other’s journeys.
“Thanks to the help of dear friends, I was able to confirm my first photography exhibition in Monte Sant'Angelo (FG), a loved city, from the 18th of June to the 11th of July 2021”.
Facebook Profile: Francisco Sancho Boanerges