The Romeiros (Pilgrims) of São Miguel
By Joseph Amaral
In 2012 Joseph returned to the island of São Miguel to compile a book depicting the Azorean landscape, culture and lifestyle, journeying throughout the archipelago in search of images that would celebrate the spirit of a people. One of the things he found was The Romeiros (Pilgrims) of São Miguel
In 1522 the first capital, Vila Franca do Campo, was shacked by a strong earthquake. These pilgrims called “Romeiros” each year reaffirm their faith circling the island on foot and praying
The Romeiros come from all around the world. They walk the island roads for eight days during the months of February and March. They travel clockwise on the island in groups by the dozens, from dawn to dusk.
They carry a staff and a rosary in their hand, a scarf around their neck, a bag and shawl on their backs. As night falls they are given shelter by families that offer dinner and some hours of sleep. It’s through prayer that they free themselves from the burdens of the world. Some have been pilgrims for 2 or 3 decades consecutively. Some are pilgrims once, as if they had done it forever. Faith does not change it is a life commitment.
For more photos http://www.jamaral.com/romeiros.html