I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

Sunday, 28 June 2015

A Small Village In Germany

I'm living in Germany right now, in the western region of Rheinland-Pfalz, and it's beautiful: picture-postcard villages, lush green valleys, hills and forests stretching as far as the eye can see. This pilgrim sign made me feel reassuringly at home . . .

The church of Saint Sebastian in Friesenhagen. Next to the church is a fine example of a black-and-white Fachwerkhaus, or half-timbered house, dating from the 18th century.

The valley of the Wildenburger Bach.

The chapel of Saint Roch above Friesenhagen lies on one of several Caminos which cross the area. After Saint James, Saint Roch is the Camino's most important saint. Like Saint Francis, he distributed his worldly possessions among the poor, then set out as a mendicant pilgrim from his birthplace of Montpellier in south-west France heading for Rome. In northern Italy he nursed plague victims, paying scant regard to his own health, and was later venerated, along with Saint Sebastian, as a 'plague saint'. He is usually shown dressed in pilgrim clothes and pointing to a plague sore on his thigh; the dog normally depicted at his feet saved his life by licking the wound clean. He was falsely arrested as a spy and spent five years in prison, where he died. According to Wikipedia, Saint Roch is the patron saint of bachelors, diseased cattle, dogs, wrongly accused people, invalids, Istanbul, surgeons, tile-makers, gravediggers, second-hand dealers, pilgrims and apothecaries — covering most options, you might say!

A rose for Saint Roch.

12 comments:

Bouncing Bertie said...

Hi Robert, I'd been wondering where you'd got to and hoping things were OK. I love the rose.
Cheers, Gail.

Sabine said...

A first glance at your pictures and I realise how familiar this is before I start reading. You are not far from us, "only" about 40 km to the east, there is in fact a branch of the camino on my way to work through the forest on our side of the Rhine valley. But then there are so many branches here.
Enjoy, hope the natives are treating you with kindness. If you want to cross that big river, we are here.

Nick said...

Ah, there you are! Good to hear from you again. Wie geht's?

dritanje said...

Oh it looks beautiful! I'm very glad you are in this lovely place. I remember reading about St Roch when I was in Montpellier, where there is also a church dedicated to him. I remember too, being intrigued by his pilgrimage to Rome. I'm glad he is also revered in Germany. I hope you continue to benefit from this peaceful and beautiful landscape.

Ruth said...

What a beautiful place to live, Robert!

The description of Saint Roch made me smile. It also interests me, because I stayed in Hotel Saint-Roch in Paris back in 1997, on rue Saint-Roch, across from the Church of Saint-Roch from whence we heard organ and choir practice every night when we crawled back to our roach-infested hotel (which was nicknamed "Saint Roach," unknown to us before we went).

It's great to hear from you here!

am said...

Ah! The yellow rose of friendship. I join in saying that we, your blog friends, have missed you. It's good to know where you are today and to have a glimpse of the small village in Germany where you are living. I remember hearing about St. Roch from you before but had forgotten about his close connection to the Camino. Buen Camino!

George said...

What a beautiful place to be living, Robert. I wish you all the best in your latest adventure. Many of us have been rather quiet in the blogosphere lately, but your voice has been especially missed.

Susan Scheid said...

Wonderful to "see" you, and in such an idyllic place. Have a grand adventure, as I know you will.

The Weaver of Grass said...

nice to have you back Robert - lovely photographs and commentary. Hope all is well.

Amanda Summer said...

Lucky you to live in such a beautiful place. We have a Saint Roch in a nearby neighborhood.

Cris M said...

I was wondering if you were walking the 88 Japanese temples or any other very long distance pilgrimage...You have been missed, I now realice how used I was to come here and find something inspiring to read. Stay well! Warm Hugs.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks for all these comments. It's nice to be missed! More soon.

Sabine — so close!

Saint Roch is everywhere.