Mundial de Vela

The forgiveness of ‘Santo Toribio’

Pilgrims resting in ‘Santo Toribio’s’ esplanade before passing through Forgiveness Door
Pilgrims resting in ‘Santo Toribio’s’ esplanade before passing through Forgiveness Door / Miguel de las Cuevas
  • The Monastery of ‘Santo Toribio’ will host the 2017 Holy Jubilee Year in Liebana, with a program full of activities and the set off point for the ‘Camino de Santiago’

Pilgrims, the Door of Forgiveness is opened. Let’s walk to contemplate God’s love. After these words, and amidst thousands of people and an incredible silence, the bishop of Santander knocked three times on the Forgiveness Door of the Monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana during the opening of the last Jubilee Year. This sound echoed throughout every corner of Christendom. The ceremony will be held again on April 16, 2017.  During a period of six months, those who cross the lintel and observe certain religious duties - prayer, confession and receiving of the communion for 15 days before or after passing through the door - will have earned the Jubilee: plenary indulgence and forgiveness of all their sins.

‘Santo Toribio de Liébana’ is located near the small town of Potes, nestled among the ‘Picos de Europa’ and also close to ‘Viorna’ hill. The Lignum Crucis has been preserved there for over 1.200 years. This small fragment came from the left arm of the Holy Cross, leaving behind the sacred hole where Jesus Christ’s hand was nailed. There are many fragments of Jesus Christ´s Cross around the world. However, the valley of Liébana boasts the largest preserved piece, which was shaped into the form of a cross. In the middle of the last century, the fragment was tested in order to discover its age. The results were surprising: the wood is more than 2.000 years old and belongs to a species of cypress trees found species found on the eastern side of the Mediterranean.

Since 1512, the Monastery of ‘Santo Toribio de Liébana’ boasts an additional value: it is known as one of the four sacred Christian places in the world. The other three are the more widely-known heavyweights: Jerusalem, Rome, and Santiago de Compostela - here one can also obtain the jubilee and, with it, the plenary indulgence. This privilege of being part of these great four was granted because, since the early Middle Ages, these paths in the western confines of Cantabria were pastures for many pilgrims, traders and  self-starters.

The ‘Camino Lebaniego’ begins on the shores of the northern ‘Camino de Santiago’. These two pilgrimmages continue together from ‘San Vicente de la Barquera’ to ‘Pesués’. ‘Jacobeo’s’ path goes west towards Galicia, while ‘Lebaniego’ turns south, towards the mountainous interior of Cantabria. This branch is one of the many that, even during the Middle Ages, was frequented by pilgrims from all over Europe.

The activities that will be carried out until the celebration will focus on valuing the world´s largest piece of Christ’s Cross and the sanctuary that holds this relic, both of which have turned Cantabria into one of the four places of Christian pilgrimmage. The idea is also to promote the Holy ‘Camino Lebaniego’ or highlight the uniqueness of the Apocalypse of the Blessed of Liébana.

With this celebration as the motive, they will additionally indicate the Northern and Lebaniego paths. According to the Cantabrian Government, it’s important to publish both paths, which are complementary, but in a differentiated way. By doing so they will be able to indicate the historical route of both paths, in addition to creating a ‘virtual tour’ with 360 degree spherical pictures to document the wealth of cultural and landscaping heritage of ‘Camino Lebaniego’. Anyone can see it from anywhere in the world.

‘Santo Toribio de Liébana’ is the oldest worship monastery in Spain. Despite being abandoned for 120 years, because of the expropriation, the ‘Leño Sagrado’  has always been worshipped. This is due in great part to ‘La Cofradía de la Vera Cruz’, created in 1181, which changed its name to  ‘Santa Cruz’ and is still active, made up of the locals from Liébana.

 

The possible actions to be carried out until then, were faced to give value to the biggest piece of Christ’s Cross and the sanctuary that contains this relic. They turned Cantabria into one of the four places of Christianity pilgrimage, together with Santiago de Compostela, Rome and Jerusalem. The intention is also to promote the Holy ‘Camino Lebaniego’ or highlight the singularity of comments to the Apocalypse of the Blessed of Liébana.

With the occasion of this celebration, they are going to indicate the North and Lebaniego paths. According to the Cantabrian Government, it’s important to publish both paths in a differentiated way. However they are complementary. This way, they are going to indicate the historical route of both paths, and also, they will create a ‘virtual tour’ with spherical pictures, 360 degrees, to account for the wealth of cultural and landscaping heritage of ‘Camino Lebaniego’. Anyone can see it from anywhere in the world.

‘Santo Toribio de Liébana’ is the oldest worship monastery in Spain. Despite being abandoned during 120 years, because of the expropriation, the ‘Leño Sagrado’ has been always venerated thanks to ‘La Cofradía de la Vera Cruz’, created in 1181, which changed its name to ‘Santa Cruz’ and is still active, composed by local people of Liébana.