" Jesus Christ is represented here with the attributes of a medieval pilgrimage: a stick and a pouch. On his bag we see the motif of the shell which is the first sculptured representation of this distinctive sign of the pilgrim on the road to Santiago - commonly known as St. James' shell. Christ is the prototype of the pilgrim. All Christians must follow his example. For the artist, the association was close at hand. For Cleopas, in fact, this stranger whom he and his companion meet on the road to Emmaus is a 'pilgrim' (from the Greek 'paroikeis' in the Vulgate translation). "Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?" (Lk 24:18). The artist represents Jesus in his mysterious essence, as the Risen Lord, who at the same time is the travelling companion and guide for all his disciples. Here he is before his disciples, considerably taller than them, with an expression that is both questioning and inviting. He calls them to discipleship and points them towards a new world, the heavenly Jerusalem, to which he himself has already opened the way with his passion and death. His two feet are symbolically pointing in different directions: his right foot is turned towards the disciples as an expression of the promise to remain with them on the historic walk, according to what he promised the apostles before ascending into heaven: "Remember, I am with you" (Mt 28:20). Christ not only walks in step with us but goes before; his has already put his left foot forward, showing the direction. Christ himself, the 'pilgrim' par excellence, is "the way, the truth and the life" (Jn 14:6)."
Bishop A.H. van Luyn s.d.b.
Abstract from his Homily at Santo Domingo de Silos, 17 April 2004
COMECE Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela