Towards Santiago de Compostela via Vaylats

The Convent of Vaylats, France has begun welcoming pilgrims on the road to Santiago de Compostela again. One of our Sisters who has contributed to a new spiritual guide for pilgrims on the route from Le Puy, offers this meditation on the walk and the hospitality offered by the “turreted convent”.




“Go from your country … to the land that I will show you”

(Genesis 12:1)


Leave, part, walk, walk, go forward …

from stage to stage, from exodus to exodus,

from yesterday to today, from today to tomorrow.

Birth and rebirths.




To where ? For what ? For whom ?


Le Puy, Aubrac, Conques,

Vaylats, Moissac, St Jean Pied de Port…

and far, far away, St Jacques !




Hazy sunshine when the hour is at its hottest,

rain, wind, mirages, dust, weariness.

The miracle also of a friendly shoulder.

The shadows lengthen at last,

with the promise of a peaceful evening

and then, soon, over there, a hospitable arch

opening into a vault inhabited by silence.

Rest, lightness, exhilarating emptiness.

A descent into deep waters perhaps!

Pain, thirst, tears, a still trembling joy,

dark truth making its way.





To where? To what? To whom?


To the unknown.

Towards the unknown that I am for myself,

towards the unknown that is waiting to be born.

The life thundering within me throbs with desire,

stubbornly in search of the “impregnable joy”

which will be my country, which will be my home,

where the elusive Love already dwells.




To where? to what? to whom?


In the pale light, as the path diverges,

there it is, the turreted convent.

It is filled with history, of lives full of days.

A stage without regrets, a stage without return,

Walking by the light of the stars in an unfathomable sky.

The evening holds its breath, still and clear.

The light of dawn broods in the east.

The shadows give way to the light of the first morning.

A bird sings in the distance …




Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and I will dine with him and he with me…

I will give him a white stone with a new name on it, which no one knows except the one who receives it.” Revelation 3:20; 2:17


C.L. France


To read more :

Convent of Vaylats

You can find this meditation in Le Guide spirituel de la voie du Puy-en-Velay

To make a stop at Vaylats


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