From the centre of town, we go out by the street called Calle de la Balsa del Tejar (Tejar Ferry St), which is next to the church. We pass the city baths on our right and we continue straight, following the N-II on our left. We enter the Cañada Real, an asphalt road at first and then dirt.
A bridge brings us across the AP-2 or Northeast Highway. To our left we see the Hotel Cruzanzana. Continue parallel to the N-II, which is on our left. 3 kilometres from the bridge we cross the N-II through a tunnel and climb to the right to find a path and continue walking parallel to N-II, but now it is on our right. Keep straight ahead, at times going a little away from the N-II, but always in sight of it. We pass a petrol station and continue straight. A line of electricity poles serves as a guide.
We reach the end of the plateau and Fraga lies before us in the valley of the river Cinca. We have arrived at an abandoned petrol station and are back to the N-II. We continue along the side of the N-II and soon take a road to the left which will bring us away from the N-II. It stays on the plateau, while the N-II goes down to the Cinca valley. Our road divides: take the right, leaving the left next to an electricity tower. The road provides a magnificent view of the valley. Passing a small stone building we again find a fork in the road at the foot of an electricity tower; we take the right, downhill. A yellow arrow on the left reminds us we are still going “against the current”.
We make our way by a sharp descent. Just before we reach the plain, our road ends in another one, which we take to our left. We continue straight on for approximately 200 meters and turn right on another road that starts here and descends to
Fraga. Red and white signs help us to follow the right road, but be careful and do not forget to turn right, because the white and red marks go straight on, which is not the right direction. Our road brings us straight down to Fraga. We reach the highway and turn right. After 100 m we find a roundabout which indicates “N-II to Lerida.” We enter the city on the N-II which becomes the beautiful Avenida (Avenue) de Aragón. Straight ahead and we reach the river Cinca. The Ignatian Way continues past the river in the old quarter, next to City Hall.
Taxi Carlos (Bujaraloz) . Tel: 608 782 616 (taxi for 5 and 8 pilgrims)
City Hall . Tel: 974 470 050. With a pilgrim’s certificate available in the parish office (Tel: 974 470 183 / 974 470 865) it is possible to stay in bungalows at the Fraga camping-restaurant, which is 1 kilometre outside the town, walking up Soses Street.
Hostal Aribau . Avenida de Madrid 25, Tel: 974 471 887
Hostal Oasis . Ctra. Nacional II km 442, Tel: 974 470 654
Hostal Trébol . Avenida de Aragón, 9. Tel: 974 471 533
Pensión Olles . Avenida de Madrid 33, Tel: 974 453 834
We follow the same line as in previous stages, but hope to reach the River Cinca having left behind the difficult Monegros stages.
FRAGA: With more than 13,000 inhabitants, this is the largest centre of population on the lower Cinca. Iberian in origin, with Roman remains nearby, and a clear role in the history of the reconquest of Aragon, Fraga was granted city status by Philip V in 1709. La Torre de los Frailes (Friars’ Tower), which has been well restored, was built by the Templars in 1128. Its church, which is dedicated to St. Peter, is in the Romanesque style (twelfth century). It was built on the site of an earlier mosque. The layout of Fraga town reflects the Arab concept of building, with adobe houses which can still be seen in some areas. In the neighborhood of the Atarazanas (Docklands) there was a shipyard for boats on the river Cinca. The buildings are particularly evocative: the Junqueras (Bullrushes) house, the governor’s palace, the one of the Piarists (a Catholic religious congregation) and many others in Gothic style, corresponding to the 16th and 17th century. It is also worth visiting the museum of the city located at the Palais Moncada (San José Calasanz St, 12. Tel: 974 472 533), a 17th century building that has been renovated recently. In this city you can find everything you need: restaurants, supermarkets, health centres, banks, bike shops, pharmacies and an information office (Tel: 974 470 050).
Notes: We walk with Jesus, accompanying Him in His final moments as the disciples take his Body down from the cross for burial. Take time with the “introductory prayer”: once again we ask that our lives be always directed to God’s will, the only source of our happiness and Resurrection. Remember that the final colloquy is always important: we draw closer to the suffering Jesus and ask Him to give us strength for our personal life commitments. Make the colloquy at the end of the prayer, and often during the day.
Grace: I ask the Father for this gift: to feel sorrow with Christ in sorrow; to experience anguish with Christ in anguish; and even to experience tears and profound grief because of the suffering Jesus endures at the end of His life for my sake.
Reflections: The crucifix, suspended over the altar of every Catholic Church, reminds us that the Mass is a remembrance and re-living of Jesus’ own offering of Himself for each of us – Jesus poured out for us, unto death. At times we can over-intellectualize the crucifixion, pondering the theological mystery of Jesus’ death. Sometimes we have changed the Crucifixion into a “golden cross,” even with gemstones. We are invited these days to “keep it real.” In your imagination spend time with the human Jesus who died a painful, slow, and humiliating death, hanging between two criminals. Spend time beside His mother, who had to watch her son die. We current-day Christians know that this drama ends in Jesus’ resurrection. Mary and the apostles did not. In my Ignatian contemplation, I accompany Mary, Jesus’ mother, as she moves away from the tomb, back to the house where she is staying. I stay with her. I wait with her. I listen to her as she shares with me all those realities she has pondered in her heart. I listen to her memories of her Son. I weep with her; I hope with her. And I tell her who I am – a companion and follower of her Son! Ignatius invites us to identify as closely as possible with Jesus, by experiencing “sorrow with Christ in sorrow”: a broken spirit with Christ also so broken. And interior strain because of the great suffering which Christ endured for me. Consider also Our Lady’s personal loneliness, along with her deep grief and fatigue. I can also ponder the fatigue of the disciples. Everything has finished. It is the end.
Christ our Lord and King continues to labor in our world to save all men and women. Jesus continues to be tortured in His brothers and sisters. He continues to be led to His cross. Take some moments of reflection about the situation of our personal humanity. Ask the Father to place you with Christ crucified in the world today.
Matthew 27:1-66. “Crucify him!” “Why, what harm has he done?” “Crucify him!”
Psalm 22. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Psalm 31. “In you, Lord, I have found refuge.”
Isaiah 50:4-9. “The Lord God is my helper.”
Final Colloquy: We spend time with Jesus, just as we did yesterday. Our personal presence is worth more than any faltering words or awkward actions. We experience in our colloquy the depth of feeling, love, and compassion which allows us simply to walk with Jesus in His suffering. Conclude with the “Our Father.”