Aragon says yes to the Way of the Holy Grail on the 20th anniversary of the Cultural Association of the Way of the Holy Grail! The Way of the Holy Grail, because of its frequency in the celebration of the Jubilee and the significance of the sacred relic of the Holy Chalice, is the most important in Christianity. The first Holy Grail Way conference in the city of Jaca closed yesterday in the High Monastery of San Juan de la Peña with more than fifty guests, including members of the Spanish Parliament, public officials, mayors, representatives of the public order linked to Jaca, businessmen, associates and a large number of colleagues from the media.
The event began at 17:00 hours, Dr. Ana Mafé, president of the Asociación Cultural El Camino del Santo Grial gave way to Toño L’Hotellerie, who read the minutes of the awarding of prizes and recognitions in their different categories.
Mr. Ildefonso Salillas, Managing Director of Turismo Aragón, gave a brief word of welcome at the beginning of the ceremony together with the president.
The gala began with the recognition of the Councillor for Culture of the City Council of Jaca, Mr. Javier Acín, who for reasons of agenda had to be in Jaca and for supporting the celebration of the conference together with the Councillor for Tourism, Mrs. Olvido Moratinos, was honoured.
Mr. Félix Longas, elder brother of the Brotherhood of San Juan de la Peña, was the next award winner, who explained his Brotherhood’s role in spreading the word about the Holy Chalice and highlighted its role in supporting the development of the Way of the Holy Grail in Aragon.
Then came the mayors, who throughout these twenty years have supported the Association in order to make the Way of the Holy Grail known in their municipalities.
Thus, Ms. Yolanda Salvador, Mayoress of Albentosa in Teruel, thanked the Pyrenees of Aragon for facilitating the flow of pilgrims who can reach her municipality, thanks to the solidarity of those who live in the area of Jaca and spread the Camino del Santo Graal with the distribution of posters, pilgrimage credentials and acts of dissemination such as the conferences.
Ms. María Isabel Bailo, Mayoress of La Sotonera explained the need to signpost the route in Huesca because there is consensus on it. Javier Fanlo, Councillor of La Sotonera, who has walked the route and knows that, after two decades of work by the Association, the route needs to be signposted.
Mr. Álvaro Blasco, Mayor of Daroca explained that his municipality puts at the service of pilgrims on the Camino del Santo Grial the hostel of his municipality (now occupied temporarily by families from Ukraine). He also noted his membership of the Association since its inception and how each year, in Daroca, the General Assembly is held.
The Mayor of Cariñena, Mr. Sergio Ortiz, was unable to attend and the award was collected on his behalf by Mr. Marco Antonio Campos, Deputy Mayor, Delegate for Tourism and Heritage. He explained that his municipality has been committed to the Way of the Holy Grail for years.
The Mayor of Fortanete de Teruel, Mr. Luis Gil was represented by Mr. Francisco de Miguel who explained that Teruel needs the solidarity of its neighbours from Huesca and Zaragoza to make the Templar Grail Territory a reality, which occupies one of the areas with the greatest housing poverty in Europe.
Mr. Martín Torres from Bailo Town Council and Mr. Luis Zubieta from Zuera Town Council also received an award from neighbours and friends of their locality.
The award for Public Officials in Aragon went to Mr. Ildefonso Salillas, Managing Director of Aragon Tourism, who thanked them for having chosen him for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Camino del Santo Grial.
Mrs. Elisa Sacacia Larrayad, Member of the Cortes de Aragón, emphasised the importance of opening up opportunities for development and investment in Aragon. She explained that she will be involved in everything necessary to ensure that this route, which is already a reality, is signposted as soon as possible. And a firm request from the Huesca Provincial Council that must be attended to by the Government.
Colonel Don Francisco Rubio, director of the Citadel of Jaca thanked Dr. Ana Mafé for the conference she gave the previous day in the fortress to present the book El Santo Grial. The proceeds from sales of which the author donated in full to the support of the Association. As well as the work carried out by civil society to raise awareness of the history of Aragon.
The award to the Guardia Civil in appreciation of the attention and care of pilgrims represented by Lieutenant Colonel Don Francisco Pulido Catalán, head of the command of Huesca was collected by Lieutenant Claudia Castilla. She explained that service to the public and, in this case the pilgrims, was a duty that they fulfilled with honour.
The award for the Groups of the Huesca Provincial Council and public officials of Huesca brought together representatives of all political forces.
Doña Jara Bernues, Public Office Award for the province of Huesca, Deputy of the Cortes Cs explained the importance of uniting synergies around the Way of the Holy Grail from the Administration.
Dr. Mafé effusively qualified this union in the Diputación de Huesca: “if the idea of helping is good, no matter who launches it, we must support, add and create employment opportunities for citizens in Aragon from all parties”.
Mr. Miguel Gracia Ferrer, President of Excelentísima Diputación de Huesca, acknowledged the approved motion of the Camino del Santo Grial in Huesca, which urges the signposting of the path in the province, among other issues. For this, all the groups were awarded: PSOE, PP, PAR and Cs.
Mr. Carlos Serrano, Councillor of Jaca City Council and PP Provincial Deputy thanked the Association for its choral work. Mr. Jose Antonio Lagüens also received the Prize for Public Office in the province of Huesca.
Mr. Francisco Aísa Otín, Provincial Deputy PAR explained from his position that he will work for Aragon and for all the opportunities for growth and development.
For their support to the Camino del Santo Graal the Tourist Offices and the route that were awarded are the Tourist Office of Campo de Cariñena, through Mrs. Carmen Gracia. Who has put at the service of the Association its office to support the pilgrim in Aragonese lands.
For the Tourist Office of Daroca the recognition went to Mrs. Asun Sancho. It was collected by Mr. Álvaro Blasco, Mayor of Daroca, who emphasised the role of Daroca as a dynamiser of the Camino from its beginnings.
The award of the Campo de Cariñena Wine Route, “Route of the wine of the stones” was also collected by its manager Carmen Gracia. A person of great personal and professional value who adds enthusiasm and development to the Camino del Santo Grial.
In the Academy, Art and Heritage section, Dr. Victoria Sanagustín, senior professor at the University of Zaragoza received a long ovation for her involvement in international dissemination through the European project she directed in 2015, Holy Grail Route.
Dr. Darío Español, from the University of Zaragoza in Huesca thanked for the award and explained that he is carrying out a series of historical recreations that highlight the history of Aragon. A history that surrounds the Way of the Holy Grail like no other route in Europe.
Dr. María Gómez, sculptor, painter and restorer, was unable to attend the event. From Valencia she thanked Dr. Mafé for the recognition through digital media.
For the care of the heritage received an award Doña Belén Luque, director of the Diocesan Museum of Jaca; Don David Muñoz de Cuerva Head of exploitation of the Monasteries of San Juan de la Peña and Don Roberto Orós who is mayor of Loarre and responsible and guide in the company that manages the Castle of that town. All of them explained the great heritage potential of the Way of the Holy Grail throughout Aragon and the need for signposting by the corresponding Administration.
For their business support, the associates Mr. Jesús Marco from FARATUR in Teruel, Ms. Marta Soler from INFOTÁCTILE in Huesca and Ms. Pilar Ortillés from APLICACIONES TURÍSTICAS EN MOVILIDAD in Zaragoza received recognition. All of them highlighted the importance of attracting investment and developing new employment opportunities through the territorial implementation of the Way of the Holy Grail throughout Aragon. Requesting its immediate signposting.
Mr. José Andrés Pintado from REFUGIO DE RIGLOS represented together with Mr. Francisco Miguel from the company EL CASAL DE NICOLÁS the importance of the accommodation service on the Way of the Holy Grail. We highlight the emotional words of Don Francisco regarding the reopening of Canfranc and the joy it can cause for those who work in Teruel. The opening of Canfranc means a direct flow of traffic to Aragon.
Finally, anonymously by express wish, thanks were given to the company that has made possible the printing of the third edition of the Pilgrim’s Credential of the Way of the Holy Grail.
Finally, and anonymously by express wish, thanks were given to the company that has made possible the printing of the third edition of the Pilgrim’s Credential of the Way of the Holy Grail.For their media support, journalists and communication professionals received various awards and acknowledgements.
DIGITAL PRESS SUPPORT AWARD for JACETANIA EXPRESS, director Rebeca Ruiz and for Mr. José Cuñat, director of Media El Camino del Santo Grial.
BEST RADIO PROGRAMME AWARD for ABISMO, director Nacho Navarro.
PRIZE FOR WRITTEN PRESS SUPPORT for El Pirineo Aragonés, director José Ventura Chavarría.
BEST RADIO BROADCASTING AWARD for ARAGÓN RADIO, collected by Mr. Roland Sesé, delegate in Huesca of the Corporación Aragonesa de Radios y Tv.
BEST PROGRAMME ON NETWORKS AWARD went to DESAFÍO VIAJERO, director Luis Tobajas. He thanked for the award and explained the importance of disseminating the route on social networks.
BEST TV BROADCASTING AWARD for LA 8 TV ZARAGOZA. It was collected by Ms. Belén García who explained the need to disseminate the Way of the Holy Grail in all the media of Aragon.
The MEDIA SUPPORT AWARD went to Toño L’Hotellerie de Fallois, actor, journalist and publicist.
Other awards were also given to RADIO JACA-CADENA SER; COPE JACA, with Pablo Barrantes and Paola Bandrés and to ARAGÓN PRESS, Director Roberto García Bermejo. For the diffusion of the Way of the Holy Grail throughout these 20 years.
For the written press, there was also a nominative recognition to DIARIO DEL ALTOARAGÓN, Ricardo Grasa; HERALDO DE ARAGÓN, Jorge Lisbona and EL PERIÓDICO DE ARAGÓN, Nacho Martín.
The event closed with thanks to the people who have contributed to the support of the Association and the Camino with a tribute to the protagonists of the first pilgrimages. Dr. Mafé began by thanking Don José Lalana, promoter of the route, Doña Carolina de Funes, promoter and driving force of the route and Don Fernando Avilés, Master Equestrian who promoted the homologation of the route by the World Equestrian Tourism Organisation in 2021.
Then José María Abarca, who was president of the Comarca de la Jacetania and supported the existing signposting of the Equestrian Route of the Holy Grail in the Jacetania region.
Doña María Luisa Gómez also received a mention for her support to pilgrims and the association.
Ms. Pilar Buesa, president of the association ACURBA of Bailo. She invited all those present to come to her town next September to celebrate the festivities of the Holy Grail in Bailo, through a great historical re-enactment.
The GRUPO MARISTAS 61, the walkers who are making the route more dynamic, Mr. Javier Revilla; Mr. Jacinto Gil; Mr. Pedro Cebrián; Mr. Mariano Tolosana; Mr. Mariano Arroyos and Mr. Luis Ibáñez.
Finally, Don Favio D’Ortona of the Basilica of San Lorenzo Outside the Walls in Rome, thanked the Association for such a magnificent distinction. He also commented on his intention to make this route a great European Cultural Itinerary.
The honorary award went to Javier Sierra, writer and journalist, winner of the 2017 Planeta Prize for his novel “El Fuego Invisible”.
The event was closed by Mr. Ildefonso Salillas who was aware of the need to signpost, to attract investment to Aragon and, above all, to help from the Pyrenees area by providing development opportunities for the municipalities of Teruel in the development of the Way of the Holy Grail.
An event that closed the I Jornadas del Camino del Santo Grial in the city of Jaca with an overwhelming success regarding participation.
Report by ‘24/7 Valencia’ team
Article copyright ’24/7 Valencia’