"You did the pilgrimage, and you enabled many to do it too," Francis says, in reference to the thousands who followed Alvaro through social media.
Pope Francis has written the young man we profiled at Aleteia, Álvaro Calvente, who did part of the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) with his dad, despite the pandemic.
Young Álvaro has an intellectual disability which led the pair and a friend who traveled with them to adapt the speed of their pilgrimage, but they were able to have the spiritual growth all the same.
“Thank you, Álvaro, for finding the courage to walk, and for inviting so many to walk with you. In the midst of this pandemic that we are living through, with your simplicity, joy and naturalness, you were able to ignite hope in many of the people that you met along the way, or through social media,” the Holy Father wrote in his letter, dated July 20.
The pair were followed by some 3,500 people through Twitter at @CaminodeAlvaro.
In one of the videos shared on their Twitter account, Álvaro, who has a great love for the pope, invited Francis to have dinner in their home.
As well, the youth carried with him on the Camino the intentions of many people who asked him on Twitter to pray for their needs.
“You did the pilgrimage, and you enabled many to do it too, encouraging us to not be afraid, and to rediscover our joy, because along the way, we are never alone. The Lord always walks beside us. Thank you for your testimony and your prayer,” Pope Francis said.
See the story of Álvaro here:
Spanish father and teen son with disability walk the Camino during COVID-19