San Andrés de Teixido (Galicia)
February 1, 2011 § 1 Comment
Although “El Camino de Santiago” is today’s most popular Galician spiritual destiny, Galicians have always preferred another pilgrimage spot. In the municipality of Cedeira (A Coruña), there is a very important sanctuary dedicated to Saint Andrew (Andrés in Spanish). This temple, at the foot of the Atlantic Ocean and located on the highest cliffs of continental Europe, is possibly one of the most stunning spiritual destinations I have ever visited.
San Andrés de Teixido, as the sanctuary is called, is a remote village whose beauty is impossible to describe with words. It is said that San Andrés was very upset because God had entrusted him with a very lonely temple where none would ever come to visit him. In fact, the saint is also locally known as San Andrés de Lonxe (the far one). God, whose understanding is infinite, told him: “don’t worry St. Andrew, those who will not visit you alive, will be forced to do it while dead”. For that reason this is a temple you will have to come to at least once in your life, otherwise your dead soul will be trapped until you pay San Andrés de Teixido a visit in Galicia.
Unbelievable? it isn’t the first time that, an old woman incapable of walking to the temple, buys two bus tickets to San Andrés. “Who is the second ticket for ma’am?” asks the bus driver. “For my husband who just passed away and I need to accompany his soul to San Andrés”, she says. As souls are said to be blind in Galician folklore, someone must guide the deceased to the Sanctuary if he or she didn’t manage to visit San Andrés when they where alive.
If you happen to do this pilgrimage one day, and I advise you to do it, do not worry if people are talking on their own, they are just guiding someones’ soul.
The sunset is unmistakably a religious ritual in the Galician coast. As the sun goes down to meet the ocean his yellowness turns into a purple, orange, red shade of indescribable beauty. Even picture are not fair when representing the death of the sun at the Atlantic waters.