Pilgrimage of the International Coordination of the Rosary Teams to Caleruega, Fatima and Toro

An article by Chantal Courtin, international coordinator of the Rosary Teams

On 19 September, four members of the International Coordination : bro. Louis-Marie Ariño-Durand, Janine Bordet, Nathalie Tranvan, and Chantal Courtin, set off by car from the Toulouse Convent for an unforgettable week.

Fr. Louis-Marie, Nathalie, Chantal and Janine

Having crossed the Basque country, we arrived at Caleruega in Castile and Léon. A small village at an altitude of 900 metres, on the arid Meseta plateau, Caleruega is the birthplace of Saint Dominic. We received a really warm welcome both from the brothers of the magnificent Saint Dominic Convent, and from the Dominican nuns we had occasion to meet.

We visited the cloister, museum, crypt and St Dominic’s holy well as well as the parish church where he was baptised. We also visited the beautiful monastery of Saint Dominic of Silos.

We lay people realised that the holy Dominican sites were not just Fanjeaux, Prouilhe and Toulouse - there was also Caleruega… We also discovered the importance of Saint Dominic in the history and life of the Spanish people and the strong attachment of the inhabitants of Caleruega to blessed Jane of Aza, Saint Dominic’s mother.


Then, the sanctuary of Fatima: a blessed place where, in a jubilee initiative, we followed in the footsteps of Francisco, Jacinta, Lucia by immersing ourselves in the Immaculate Heart of Mary. For several months, each of us had been preparing for this spiritual moment. And what beautiful encounters throughout these few fervent days in this sanctuary where lots of families were present!


On the way home, a stop in Toro, at the very fine Sancti Spiritus monastery where the Dominican nuns also gave us a superb welcome. A visit of the monastery and museum, a wonderful meeting with the sisters who offered us home made cakes and wine from their own vineyard.

And if we discovered places on our spiritual travels, we also got to know each other better, in friendship, prayer, but also in laughter over a few glasses of Port!