Egeria House and Starfishes

When people hear for the first time of Egeria House, they often think of it as a big, established center with a huge sign at the door and paid staff, or something similar.

Truth is that Egeria House is more a way of life for me, not bound to a particular place and, no, there is no ‘staff’, only me at the moment.

Egeria herself was a Galician woman and made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the Holy Land in the 4th century. Not only that, she also wrote about her journey and the things she saw. Her account of the Easter celebration in Jerusalem is the oldest one that exists and has kept liturgists happy ever since.

When I lived in England, I was intrigued by the fact that many houses there, in addition to numbers, also had names. When I moved to Santiago, I wanted the place where I lived to have a name that was meaningful to me, so it became Egeria House.

As for starfishes, if you have ever met me in person, I will, most likely, have told you this tale already, if that is the case, feel free to skip to the next paragraph.

A man was walking at the beach early one morning, after a bad storm. He was saddened as he noticed the hundreds and hundreds of stranded starfishes that would certainly die when the sun came up and dried them out. As he walked further and further, he noticed another man coming towards him, but he was bending down, picking something up and throwing it in the sea. As he came closer, he realized that the other man was picking up starfishes and throwing them back. “You fool”, he said, “there are hundreds of them on this beach alone. You are not making any difference.” The other man bend down, picked up a starfish and said calmly: “But I can make a difference for this one.” And throw it back into the sea.

And that is what we all can do:

Helping one ‘starfish’ at a time, because a multitude of small acts of kindness WILL change the world – for the better, keeping the Camino spirit alive in our own communities.

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