From the Plaça Major square we turn 90° right and in 500 metres we turn left in Nou Street. We’re on the edge of the village: we cross over a canal via a small bridge and turn right at the first track that appears just after the bridge and a house.
The road runs parallel to the canal, which is on our right. In 400 metres we take the left hand fork, away from the canal and heading for Castellnou de Seana. In 600 metres we cross a road and in another 1 kilometre we cross another one.
We follow our path, without veering left or right. Sometimes, the road crosses others, but we continue straight ahead. After 1.7 kilometres we cross another road. Take care here: after crossing the road, we don’t take the first road on the right, but the second, which is almost facing us.
We follow it and shortly we pass three farm buildings on our left. Continuing straight on, we can already make out Castellnou de Seana ahead of us. The trail forks before reaching the village: take the left track, thus avoiding the roundabout and we are better placed for the main road and the church square. The City Hall is nearby.
To leave the town, from the school building we set off along Calvario Street that leads to a fork with Marius Tort Street on our left but we do not take this; instead, we continue along the same street. Having left the town, we continue along the asphalt road which goes straight on, passing near fields and agricultural buildings. We pass a stone and sand quarry on our left, approaching the bridge that crosses the A-2 highway. We cross the bridge and follow our road towards the railway tracks.
In 800 m we pass a bridge and turning round to our left we descend to the tunnel of the same bridge through which we pass to reach the other side of the tracks where we see the town of Bellpuig in front of us. We have seen some Saint James Camino signs guiding our turn under the bridge. At the first roundabout we turn left, and then right at the second roundabout to enter the village. We continue straight down into Avinguda d’ Urgell Street until we reach Ramon Folch Square. We cross it and at the roundabout we continue straight on to reach Sant Roc Square and then we take on our right Calle Mayor Street. At the end of this street, we turn 90 degrees to the left into Balmes Street and then after 80 m we turn 90 degrees to the right always in Balmes Street, in effect, making a Z. At this point Avinguda Preixana Street should be behind us and the church (which we will not reach) should be in front of us.
Walking straight through Balmes Street we leave town on a paved road that we continue straight along until we come to a two-lane paved road. We cross it and continue straight along the same path without deviating. 1.5 km from the last junction, we see the Motocross Circuit of Catalunya on our left. We keep walking on the same path and we arrive in front of a farm that has two food containers, one labelled TEGAPOL. We take a dirt road that we find on our right, following the farm fence. We continue following the same path until we reach a bridge over a ditch. We cross it and we continue straight on the road in front of us.
The dirt road becomes asphalt when we reach a typical Catalan farmhouse. A signpost indicates the direction to Preixana. We don’t follow that direction, instead continuing straight ahead, leaving the farm on our right. 1.3 km from the farm we turn right onto a dirt road and then in 100 m we turn left on the same road. We head straight on without deviating. In a few meters we pass a sand quarry on our right and we keep walking straight ahead in the same road. We arrive at the LV- 2021 road. To our right is a small religious shrine dedicated to the Mother of God of Remedy. Cross the road and continue straight on our dirt road. We come to a junction of five roads and we take the second on our left, which is quite wide. We follow it down to the road, the C -14. Cross it and continue straight on towards Verdú.
When we reach the ditch we cross over it towards Verdú and the hermitage of Sant Miquel on the edge of town. We continue straight on, through the streets. Following Sant Miquel Street, we reach a junction and straight ahead we find Sant Pere Claver Street. At the beginning of the street, on the left, is the Shrine – Birthplace of St. Peter Claver where the pilgrims’ hostel is situated.
City Hall . Tel: 973 320 408.
Hostal Agustín Martín Mingot. av. Catalunya, 32. Tel: 973 320 076
Hotel Stop ** . Tel. 973 320 865 (1 km from the village on the N-II road)
Refugio de Peregrinos . (8 beds) Tel: 973 320 408 (call 2 days in advance or write to firstname.lastname@example.org)
CASTELLNOU DE SEANA
City Hall . The City Hall provides refuge for 8 pilgrims. Tel: 607 784 458 / 973 320 705. The Restaurant Café Modern can provide information (c/ Sant Blai, 23. Tel: 973 320 843 / 655 926 549).
Casa Rural Olivé . Tel: 973 321 373.
Taxi Segarra . Tel: 630 538 180
Pilgrim’s Hostel of Saint Peter Claver . Calle de Sant Pere Claver, 30 Tel. 687 095 070 – 30 beds (Asociación de Amigos de San Pedro Claver) Email: email@example.com. Closed from November to March.
Touristic Apartments Cal Senyor Joan . Plaça Major, 21, tel. 636 990 493
City Hall . Tourism office Tel. 973 347 216. El Ayuntamiento también puede ofrecer información sobre el albergue de trabajadores del campo. Tel: 973 347 007.
Casa rural Ca N’Aleix . Arquebisbe Terés, 10, tel. 973 311 393 / 678 640 343.
Casa Rural L’Era de Can Roger . c/ Sant Miquel, 34 Tel: 973 311 393 / 678 640 343.
City Hall Tel: 973 311 162.
Cal Faba, casa rural . (10 people, full rental) Plaza Mayor, 5. Tel: 686 847 589
CASTELLNOU DE SEANA: A village of less than 1,000 inhabitants which offers a restaurant, supermarket, pharmacy, health centre and bank.
BELLPUIG : Population of about 5000 inhabitants. Here, if we wish, we may stop to admire an impressive marble sarcophagus from Ramon Folc de Cardona – Anglesola ( 1525 ) in the parish church, which is dedicated to St. Nicholas ( XVI century ). The sarcophagus is a prominent example of the Catalan Renaissance style. The steps leading up to the church were built in 1792 in Baroque style. Bellpuig Castle was built in 1079 and during the twelfth century it was adapted to become the residence of the barons of Bellpuig. It was renovated again in 1472 and was fortified during the War of Spanish Succession. Part of the building was blown up during the War of Independence. In town we can find restaurants, supermarket and pharmacy. City Hall, Tel: 973 320 408.
VERDÚ: This small village of 1000 inhabitants has great significance for the Society of Jesus in Catalonia, as it is here that Saint Pierre Claver was born and raised. He would become known as the “holy defender of the black slaves” in the port of Cartagena de Indias (Colombia). Although small, the Association of Friends of the saint welcomes pilgrims with open arms. The most important religious monument is the parish church of Santa Maria (XIII century), with its Romanesque portal. Inside are the Gothic sculptures of the Virgin (XV century), in polychrome stone, and that of Saint Flavia, patron saint of the town. In the nave, on the left, stands a Baroque altarpiece in polychrome wood, by Agusti Pujol, considered the masterpiece of the seventeenth century Catalan sculptor, and the altar fresco by Jaume Miguell. Beside the church stands the XII century castle, around which the community developed. Influenced by the nearby Cistercian monastery of Poblet, it became the residence of the abbots when they were visiting Verdú. In the basement of the castle there was a cellar and an oil mill. The other religious buildings are the Gothic style ’L’Ermitage de Sant Miquel (XIV century). The main square is surrounded by houses of the XVII and XVIII centuries. The ceramics produced in this town are notable for their distinctive black colour. Well worth a visit is the fascinating “Museum of Toys and Robots.” The village has a restaurant, supermarket, pharmacy, health centre and bank. A new Saint Peter Claver Center is going to be built when possible!
Notes: We maintain the same positive spirit as we continue to contemplate the life of God in all its fullness. There is nothing that can hinder us on our path to freedom and eternal happiness in God’s love. Live this last week full of grace and full of light. We rejoice in every flower, bird, smile, extended hand. Remember the “introductory prayer” as we enter into prayer, as well as throughout the day. Pay attention to the final colloquy: we ask an interior knowledge of the risen Jesus who strengthens our commitment to life eternal. We discuss this with our “friend” Jesus in the colloquy at the end of prayer, and during the day. At this point, pay attention to the Ignatian tips referring to St. Peter Claver. Peter Claver was a follower of Jesus Christ and a Jesuit missionary in Latin America; he was often called the “slave of slaves.”
Grace: I beg the Father for this gift: to enter into the joy of the risen and victorious Christ. To be able to contemplate the fullness of life that Jesus has achieved for us. I ask to rejoice deeply with Christ, and to be sent into the world to serve the mission of Jesus Christ.
Reflections: The grace of being alive, the grace of experiencing the resurrection within you is not just a personal gift. Rather, with great energy, this grace must be shared with others and placed at the service of Jesus’ Mission: to spread the Good News of the Kingdom of God. Today we feel renewed as in the same moment we commit ourselves with Jesus, our best “friend,” to help realize His mission on earth. The Father continues to pour out the Spirit of Christ upon the men and women of our day. Jesus consoles us always and sends us forth on mission to console the suffering, the poor, and all who long for salvation. As it is written: “When you send forth your spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth. (Psalm 104:30). We pray today to our God that we may enter into the joy and consoling mission of the Risen Jesus.
In Matthew’s gospel we find Jesus asking the disciples to go to Galilee and assist him there. The disciples were those sinners He had invited to become His companions, the same ones who were traitors at the very end. We are now one with them, as disciples in our pilgrimage to the Kingdom. We are also united with others, perhaps more sinful or more faithful than ourselves. But this doesn’t really matter since our strength and wisdom is centered in Christ. Do not be afraid to answer His call. We gather now at the mountain, that meeting place between God and His people. For us this place can be a slum, a lab, a church, a clinic, an office, a parlor, a classroom. Jesus gives us our mission: go forth, baptize, teach, love, and bring God’s Compassion as reconciliation for all of humanity. We are invited to fulfill this mission in every moment and circumstance of life. And Jesus speaks the most wonderful words to us: He promises that He will be with us always, in each joyful and painful moment. Even though I may not feel worthy to accept His presence, Jesus will always stay close to me. Even if I am a sinful person, unfaithful and limited, Jesus is going to send His Spirit to transform every human situation as an experience of growth.
Even though our faith may be small, Jesus counts on us. Thomas had to recognize his lack of faith before being sent to the world. We pray to answer the call of Jesus, inviting us to follow him to the beach and stay with Him. We join the disciples there in receiving His commission and His blessing.
Matthew 28: 16-20: “I will be with you always, until the end of time.”
John 20: 24-29: Tolerant of my darkness and unbelief as He was of Thomas, Jesus delights in consoling me with the gift of renewed faith. In His loving presence, I say: “My Lord and my God!”
John 21: 1-17: A moment of joy – “It is the Lord!” A moment of companionship – “Come and eat your meal.” A moment of intimacy and decision – “Do you love me?” A moment of mission – “Feed my sheep!”
Final Colloquy: At this point in our interior pilgrimage, we are accustomed to walk with our friend and Lord Jesus Christ, speaking freely just as one friend does with another. If you honestly experience the strength and grace within you, beg Jesus to accept you under His banner, thus to build the Kingdom of God at His side. Finish with the “Our Father.”
Today we don’t talk about Ignatius, but of a Jesuit saint patron of the Catalonian Jesuit Province. The extraordinary figure of Saint Peter Claver can be summed up in three stages.
1.- To begin, he was baptized on the 26th Of June, 1580, as it is shown in the Baptismal Registry kept in the Parish Archives in the town of Verdú. The good pastor added to the inscription these words: “May God make him a good Catholic.” And thus it was. Following his desire to become a priest, at the age of 17 he moved to Barcelona. There, at the age of 22, he entered the Society of Jesus. He was assigned to the Jesuit College in Palma de Mallorca, where he spent 3 years. While there, Alonso Rodriguez, the door keeper, who was known as a saintly person, became his friend and teacher. He influenced him greatly, and encouraged him to work in the American continent, discovered by Europeans in the previous century. So it was that Peter Claver sailed from Seville on April 15, 1610, and landed in Cartagena de Indias, in what is now known as Colombia.
2.- This was a dark time in history, stained by the injustice and cruelty of slavery. Peter Claver was a witness to the arrival of slave ships, and saw how the slaves were treated. He began to go to the port when a ship arrived, welcoming them with an open heart and a smile on his lips, at the same time distributing clothing, food, drink and sweets. As he himself wrote, he spoke to them not with words but with his hands and work. It was useless to speak to them any other way. He would kneel beside the sick, wash them, tend to them, and try to make them happy with as many demonstrations of care that human nature can show to help lighten the burden of a sick person. His life was a beautiful example of human and evangelical love for his dear slaves. He cared for them materially, instructed them in the faith, and baptized them, always considering himself their servant. On April 3, 1622, he made a solemn commitment which he expressed with the following words: “Slave of the Black Slaves forever.” He signed it, and fulfilled it with his life.
3.- He was canonized by Pope Leo XIII, who said that “since the life of Christ, no life had moved him so deeply as the life of Peter Claver”.
He lived on earth in poverty and freedom, for 74 years, suffering with those who suffered, a white man among black men, always as a slave of the slaves. He was a Catalan of few words, but prodigious in heroism.