The Credencial is a 14 page cardboard document folded concertina-style. It is your ‘passport’ to the Way allowing you to stay at the refuges and auberges on the Way. They are obtained from a Christian association, one of the national Confraternities, or from the Cathedral in Le Puy and may vary in size and in the number of pages. There is space for the stamps along the Way, and a special stamp for the Pilgrims’ Office to stamp in Santiago de Compostela.
I have heard that it is best to get two stamps per day. As I am planning a long walk, I will try and obtain 2 copies of the Credencial to ensure there is enough space for the stamps.
“This credential is produced for those who aim to walk, go on horseback or cycle to St. James. It is intended to show that the journey is being undertaken for religious or spiritual reasons. Generally a Parish, Church or Confraternity will issue the Credencial”.
There are two main purposes of the Credencial …
– To admit the pilgrim to the refuges offered along the Way
– To obtain the Compostela from the Cathedral of St. James in Santiago de Compostela
The Credencial …
– can only be produced up by the Church through its institution such as Church or Confraternity
– Refuges do not receive subsidy. Pilgrims should help in their maintenance, cleaning and austerity
– Organised groups on bicycle or with supporting car should not use the refuges but book alternative accommodation
– The bearer of the credential should abide by the above rules