When I walked into a
screening of The Way, which opens today, I knew very little about the film; only that it
stars Martin Sheen and is directed by his son, Emilio Estevez, and that it
involves pilgrims hiking El Camino de Santiago, a
450-mile historical pilgrimage route across northern Spain.
Walk along with Century contributor Sarah Hinlicky Wilson and her husband Andrew
Lars Wilson as they retrace the journey Martin Luther made from Erfut, Germany,
to Rome in 1510—500 years ago this year.
Once upon a time, Europe lived in an age of faith, which found buoyant expression in the massive popularity of pilgrimage. Pilgrimage shrines flourished across Europe, some drawing millions of followers each year, and new pilgrimage destinations emerged regularly to meet the demand.