The Way of St. James pilgrimage took them extra time, but the father said he experienced "the greatness of God."
“There is no fear here,” said Ildefonso Calvente. He’s the father of Álvaro, a 15-year-old boy with a disability. Together, they embarked on the Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James) in the company of a friend, Francisco Javier Millán.
They live in Málaga. Álvaro is the seventh of 10 siblings and “was born with a mental disability due to a mutation of two genes,” explains his father. “We didn’t realize it until the baby was two months old and we started to see that he wasn’t doing what was normal for his age.”
Álvaro’s disability “turned out to be a blessing for the family. It was fresh air for our home. With Álvaro you see a wave of love coming into your house. You have to dedicate time and attention to him, of course, but he gives us so much more,” explains Ildefonso.
En tu vida hay obstáculos, problemas, dificultades… ¿Crees que en la mía no? Pero yo sé una cosa que a lo mejor tú desconoces: Y es que Dios es un gran ingeniero y, si se lo pides, se las ingenia para que pases por encima sin mojarte. pic.twitter.com/3KDzxBr5Mm
The three pilgrims made the journey with religious intent. “We’re members of the Neocatechumenal Way, from the parish of San Patrick in Málaga, and two bus loads of pilgrims had been organized to go to Santiago de Compostela this summer. But with the pandemic it wasn’t possible, and the trip was cancelled.”
However, “Álvaro doesn’t forget things, and he insisted on doing the Camino de Santiago, so here we are, on the move,” explained Ildefonso in a phone interview during the pilgrimage, while commenting that the three of them were climbing a hill, passing through a leafy forest, and twice the communication by phone was cut off. There, nature rules. Ildefonso said,
“Some do the route for religious reasons, as we do. Others do it just to get in touch with nature. In any case, that also leads to God, who loves us all equally. We see that many places are closed, but the hostels are open and they take care of us: They’ve called us to ask how we are and when we plan to arrive, they ask us if we need anything, they send a farewell text message …”