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Three Canadians

Gavia from Vancouver

I found Gavia sitting quietly in our shelter, giving her blistered feet a rest for a while. She carried a big pack. She explained that was because she was carrying her violin, which she played every day especially in churches. She was wearing a ‘rain skirt’. A few days previously a couple of American ladies had came by, also wearing rain skirts – the first time I had seen them. They explained that they were more practical than waterproof trousers. Then two more ladies arrived – Jeanette and her friend. They were from Quebec on the other side of Canada

Quatre charmants pèlerins


Quatre charmants pèlerins sont passées aujourd’hui. D’abord, Evelyne et Véronique – deux amies marseillaises, profitent de l’occasion pour s’éloigner pendant quelques jours de la routine et des responsabilités de la vie quotidienne. Elles ont chacune choisi une de nos croix en bois d’olivier à prendre avec. Vient ensuite Agnès qui avait pris plusieurs mois d’absence de son travail de paysagiste pour parcourir tout le Camino du Puy à Santiago. Elle portait une petite croix en céramique qu’elle avait fabriquée elle-même. Enfin, nous avons rencontré John, un ministre méthodiste du Lancashire, bénéficiant également de quelques mois de congé sabbatique de son ministère.


Four delightful pilgrims came by today. First Evelyne and Veronique – two friends from Marseille taking the opportunity to be away for a week or so from the routine and responsibilities of daily life. They each selected one of our olive-wood crosses to take with them. Then came Agnès who had taken several months leave from her work as a landscape gardener to walk the whole Camino from Le Puy to Santiago. She was wearing a little ceramic cross which she had made herself. Finally we met John, a Methodist minister, from Lancashire, also enjoying a few months sabbatical from his ministry.

Hannah and Anne

We met Hannah, an Australian law student, today – see her picture below. She had to reach St Jean Pied de Port in three days time so was walking nearly 40 km a day. But she still had time for a chat and a coffee.


A little later along came Anne. She had taken a six month sabbatical and was walking at a more leisurely pace. She talked of her mother who had died a year ago, and of her role in the Frence resistance during WWII.

Un peu plus tard arrive Anne. Elle a pris un congé sabbatique de six mois et marchait à un rythme plus tranquille. Elle parlait de sa mère, qui s’est décédé il y a un an, et de son rôle dans la Résistance pendant la deuxième Guerre Mondiale.


A return visit!

Today Ingrid and Lars stopped by for a coffee. It was their second visit to Emmaüs; the previous occasion was 5th May last year! Lovely to meet them again.

They are from Sweden – now living in Stockholm but previously just two hundred km from the Artic Circle. For environmental reasons they had travelled from Stockholm to Bordeaux by train – a 24-hour journey! They commented that the railways of Europe needed to get their ticketing better linked-up and coordinated.

Easter Monday – our first pilgrim visitors

Three pilgrims stopped by today. Our first visitors for 2019. Two of them were looking for bread, all the shops and the bakery being closed today…..!

I like to think Easter Monday is also the Emmaüs feast day, when the two disciples, Cleopas and another (perhaps his wife, Mary) met Jesus on the road after His Resurrection.

Here again is the painting by Paul Cyr of Jesus meeting the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and which hangs in our shelter.

Mike – RIP

We mourn Mike who passed away on 11 September surrounded by  all his loving family.

Mike was one of our early volunteers at Emmaüs and contributed in different ways to the development of our little project. He used to pass his days sitting and painting at the front gate which always encouraged passing pilgrims to stop and talk.

Professionally he had been a doctor – university lecturer and then  general practitioner – with a particular interest in holistic medicine, seeing the patient as a whole – as a person . Throughout his varied and adventurous life he had consistently tried to discern God’s will for him and to act accordingly.

We are confident he now rests in God’s loving care and we keep his wife, Jenny, and their large family in our thoughts and prayers.

Musique de l’Ardèche

Martine et Max, ‘compagnons de route’ sont passés hier. Max vient de l’Ardèche et jouait un instrument  musical traditionnel de sa région pour nous.

Martine and Max, who were walking together, stopped by yesterday. Max was from the Ardeche region and played a traditional musical instrument for us.

Deux grands plaisirs

Aujourd’hui Alicia Geneviève et Guy-Hervé nous ont rendu visite. En effet ils sont passé chez nous la semaine dernière. Depuis lors ils sont arrivés à St Jean Pied de Port. Mais Geneviève avait toujours envie d’un de nos petites croix en bois d’olivier et ils sont rentrés pas voiture pour en chercher. C’était un grand plaisir de les rencontrer.

Ensuite Michel et Christine sont venu afin de prendre leur déjeuner dans l’ombre. Ils m’ont invité de partager leur repas – un deuxième grand plaisir de la journée.