Friday, February 29, 2008

Father Jose Maria dies

Last weekend marked the passing of a beloved figure of the Camino de Santiago, Father Jose Maria Alonso Marroquin, 81. For thirty years, the genial, energetic padre welcomed pilgrims to his refuge, housed in the secluded monastery of San Juan de Ortega, warming their stomachs and their spirits with his legendary garlic soup and a rousing chorus of Ultreya, the anthem of the Camino. Father Jose Maria was also a founder of the Burgos Association of Friends of the Camino and worked tirelessly for the restoration of his historic monastery and parish church.

In this beautiful and austere video clip of San Juan de Ortega in winter, taken from the film "Tres por el camino," Father Jose Maria serves up his garlic soup almost as a holy communion. You could say it was.

(Photo: Xose Antonio Vilaboa Barreiro)

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