On the north coast of Galicia at the base of Cabo Ortegal (one of many places
called locally "the end of the world") is the shrine of San Andrés
( San Andrés de Teixido; 1900 - 1998
Andrés was martyred by being crucified on an X-shaped cross, which
is reflected in the Saint Andrew's Cross of Scotland and integrated into
the British Union Flag. It is also part of the Ikurrin (Basque Flag).
A relic of the saint -- part of his body -- was taken from Rome to the city
of Estella in Navarroa in Spain in the year 1270, and some time after that,
a relic was brought to the present sanctuary at Teixido. From the nearest
town, Cedeira, it is 10 km uphill to 628 m above sea level, then one km down
to an exposed, windy cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. In spite of its
remote location and the treacherous tracks leading to it before the construction
of modern roads, an old verse in Gallego says:
"A San Andrés de Teixido vai de morto o que non vai de
Anyone who does not visit San Andrés de Teixido
when he is alive must visit after he is dead."
This story explains why this pilgrimage is necessary.
The Apostle Andrés (Andrew, brother of Peter) was depressed because
pilgrims flocked from all over the world to the shrine of his fellow-apostle
Santiago (Saint James) at Santiago de Compostelo in the south of Galicia,
which is even today regarded as the third most holy site in Christendom.
The fact that his own sanctuary was neglected caused Andrés great
sorrow. One day, as he was walking the roads alone, he came upon Jesus Christ,
who asked him why he looked so sad.
"Master," San Andrés said, "I am sad because people go to Santiago
from the farthest corners of the world, and my sanctuary is empty, as if
I were a less faithful disciple of yours and less caring about the well-being
Christ replied, "I promise you this, that no one will enter heaven unless
he has visited your shrine at least once, alive or dead."
The legend tells that if you haven't gone to the shrine before you die, a
member of your family can do it for you after your death.
We are the family, my friends, and we've gone there. Our baggage, her painting
" The Galveston Beach ", her poem " To Leonard ", our faith and our prayers.
" Por acaso hemos venido a la existencia, y despues de esta vida
seremos como si no hubiéramos sido; humo en nuestro aliento,y
el pensamiento una centella del latido de nuestro corazón.
Extinguido éste, el cuerpo se vuelve ceniza, y el espíritu
se disipa como tenue aire."
- Libro de la Sabiduría ( II.1-7) -
Descanse en Paz
Sandy Merriman Memorial
por Patricia Jane St. John Danko
Diseño: Jarkko Arjatsalo