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Home > News > Historic expedition from Madrid to Pallerols and Andorra
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Historic expedition from Madrid to Pallerols and Andorra      

Mass in La Ribalera commemorating the Mass celebrated by Saint Josemaría in 1937

   

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In the Saint Raphael Cabin, a foggy and cold day. From left to right: Santiago, Jordi, Fr Tomás, Manuel and Pele      

On November 26-28, a group of four people from Madrid, under the enthusiastic encouragement of Manuel Fuertes, spent a few days in Pallerols.

 

It was Manuel who had the idea of organizing this expedition in which friends of his would go, including the priest of Opus Dei, Tomás Alvira, son of Tomás Alvira, one of the expedition members who in 1937 accompanied Saint Josemaría in the passage of the Pyrenees. The fundamental idea was for Fr Tomás to celebrate the Eucharist in the same place where his father had attended the Mass celebrated by Saint Josemaría on November 28, 84 years ago, which also coincided that on both dates it was Sunday 1st of Advent. This is how the expedition that would reach Pallerols from Madrid was formed.

The visitors were: Manuel Fuertes, Fr Tomás Alvira, Pele Postigo and Santiago Torras. On the part of the Association of Friends of Pallerols they were accompanied on different occasions by Jordi Piferrer, Octavio Rico and Ramon Camats.

 

The visitors were: Mr. Tomás Alvira, Pele Postigo, Manuel Fuertes and Santiago Torras. On the part of the Association of Friends of Pallerols they were accompanied on different occasions by Jordi Piferrer, Octavio Rico and Ramon Camats.

 

The group of visitors left Madrid on Friday, November 26 at 9 in the morning and arrived in Peramola at 3 in the afternoon. The first thing was lunch at the Fonda la Masia. Then we visit "El Pajar" and the house of Tonillo, Antonio Bach Pallarès, who was a guide in this area. Then we go to Pallerols going up directly to the Saint Raphael Cabin. There the historical writings that narrate the 5 days spent in this place were read by the group that included Saint Josemaría and the seven who accompanied him, among whom was Tomás Alvira. (See "Camino de Liberación" pp. 58 to 70).

Then we went down to the church and rectory of Pallerols visiting the most emblematic places: the "oven", the place where Saint Josemaría found the rose that confirmed his decision to continue to Andorra, the place where he celebrated Holy Mass, etc. reading in these places the corresponding historical writings (See "Camino de Liberación" pp. 44 to 57).

At night we went to Coll de Nargó, in the Fonda del Llac, which was the base camp from where we made the visits for the next days 27 and 28.

 

On Saturday 27, Fr Tomás Alvira celebrated mass in the church of Organyà and then we left for Andorra where we visited some places where, from December 2 to 10, 1937, the group of Saint Josemaría was present. There we visit the church of Sant Julià de Lòria and the Mas d'Alins house on the border, then the places they visited in Andorra la Vella and Escaldes. (See "Camino de Liberación" pp. 136 to 191).

 

Finally, on the 28th, we went to La Ribalera to celebrate Holy Mass, which had been the main reason that had moved Fr Tomás Alvira to go to Pallerols. There the historical writings were reread (See "Camino de Liberación" pp. 71-79).

 

After mass was celebrated in the Ribalera, we returned to Pallerols to say goodbye, leaving at 3:00 p.m. towards Madrid, where they arrived at 20:30.

The visitors were deeply moved by the experiences experienced during these 3 days, with the intention of returning soon accompanied by their relatives and friends.

   
     
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The adventure begins in Peramola
 - The adventure begins in Peramola
   
   
     
Going to the Ribalera
 - Going to the Ribalera
   
   
     
Fr Tomás Alvira celebrates Mass in La Ribalera 84 years after the Mass celebrated by Saint Josemaría in this same place on November 28, 1937
 - Fr Tomás Alvira celebrates Mass in La Ribalera 84 years after the Mass celebrated by Saint Josemaría in this same place on November 28, 1937
   
   
     
Attendees at the Ribalera Mass
 - Attendees at the Ribalera Mass
   
   
     
After the Mass, some historical texts were read
 - After the Mass, some historical texts were read
   
   
     
Leaving the Barranc de la Ribalera
 - Leaving the Barranc de la Ribalera
   
   
     
Another photo of the visit to the Saint Raphael Cabin, with Ramon Camats, second from the left
 - Another photo of the visit to the Saint Raphael Cabin, with Ramon Camats, second from the left
   
   
     
In Andorra la Vella in the same place where the photo from 1937 was taken
 - In Andorra la Vella in the same place where the photo from 1937 was taken
   
   
     
Photo from 1937. Tomás Alvira is first from the left, in the back row
 - Photo from 1937. Tomás Alvira is first from the left, in the back row
   
   
     
In the church square of Peramola
 - In the church square of Peramola
   
   
     
In front of the “Tonillo” house, in Peramola
 - In front of the “Tonillo” house, in Peramola
   
   
     
The two organizers of the historic “Madrid-Pallerols 2021” expedition: On the left Manuel Fuertes (from Madrid) and on the right Jordi Piferrer (from Barcelona), next to the statue of Saint Josemaría in the church of Sant Julià de Lòria (Andorra)
 - The two organizers of the historic “Madrid-Pallerols 2021” expedition: On the left Manuel Fuertes (from Madrid) and on the right Jordi Piferrer (from Barcelona), next to the statue of Saint Josemaría in the church of Sant Julià de Lòria (Andorra)
   
   
     

To finish this little chronicle we attach one of the many writings that appear in the aforementioned book "Camino de Liberación". In this case, it is a letter by Tomás Alvira referring to the Andorran border crossing on the night of December 1 to 2, 1937, which you can find on p. 128 of the aforementioned book:

 

"Last night, around one o'clock in the morning, we were already very close to the border line, when the guide -who had been joined by two more- told us to quickly get down on the ground, but each one under a tree. This caused us great fright, because we assumed that they had seen someone. The alarm occurred because the guides saw a bonfire precisely where we were going to pass, moving away from the well-lit police house that was nearby. Faced with this complication, it was decided to pass between that house and the bonfire where undoubtedly there were surveillance people (then different people would put themselves to guard the border) heating up, because the night (from December 1 to 2) was extremely cold. Our guide gave us instructions:

We should not put the sticks on the ground, to avoid noise; we would try not to rest our feet on moving stones, so that they would not roll, and we would go as light as possible. Thus we began to walk, with considerable fear, when suddenly the loud barking was heard and followed by the dog that they must have had at the police station.

I thought it was all over there, because the dog, with his barking, clearly indicated that someone was passing by. We continue our march; he kept barking the dog and finally fell silent. Nobody came out! What happened? It's inexplicable. Even though the border line was at the beginning of the mountain, we continued walking in silence until we reached the northern slope. After the demonstrations of joy, our group stayed in silence and prayed the Holy Rosary".




   

 10 Comments
   
  Author familia Jaureguizar Gratacós | 01/12/2021
   Comment Es emocionante saber que D. Tomás Alvira (hijo) ha estado en Pallerols y que haya podido celebrar la Sta Misa en el mismo lugar que San Josemaría (junto a Tomás Alvira padre).
Es cierto que se palpa la intercesión de San Josemaría en quienes tienen la oportunidad de ir a Pallerols y participar en la celebración de la Sta Misa en la ermita y en Ribalera. Es, sin duda, tocar un trocito de cielo y coger fuerzas para que cada caminante siga su camino...eso sí, con la sonrisa de la Virgen que entrega a cada uno "como una rosa".
   
  Author Emilio Fernández Urías | 01/12/2021
   Comment Qué gran efeméride para dos generaciones Alvira. Felicidades y enhorabuena por la iniciativa. Y gracias también a los colaboradores necesarios que siempre están ahí dando el callo. A ver si me dejan jubilarme pronto y me uno a ellos. 😀
   
  Author Pele Postigo | 30/11/2021
   Comment Han sido unos días impresionantes. Intensos por dentro y por fuera. ¡Días llenos de fuerza! Días que golpean y animan a vivir la vida con más heroísmo, con más entrega, con mas generosidad, con más cariño. Agradezco a San Josemaría su fe en lo que Dios le pedía y su heroísmo y su vida santa. Agradezco todos los detalles que en estos días han tenido con nosotros Jordi, Ramón y Octavio, y el trabajo de todos los voluntarios que han trabajado para que el Paso de los Pirineos esté también documentado y señalizado. Lo hemos pasado en grande, hemos rezado mucho, ha sido un disfrute. ¡Volveremos!
   
  Author Tomás Alvira | 30/11/2021
   Comment Impresionante el camino. Impresionante los guías, Jordi, Ramón, Octavio: nadie sabe más que ellos. Impresionante los acompañantes. Todo motivo de una muy grande acción de gracias a Dios, a la Virgen y a san Josemaría. Gracias también a nuestro promotor (nombrado allí "delegado para la zona centro"), que lo ha bordado. Es igualmente muy impresionante la huella de san Josemaría en ese camino que recorrió en circunstancias extremadamente heroicas en el invierno de 1937. Se palpa su intercesión en quienes recorremos el mismo camino (en este caso, sólo en parte), en circunstancias infinitamente mejores, en forma de gracias obtenidas por él desde el Cielo para que cada caminante siga su camino (el camino de la vida, el camino de la vocación) después de haberlo encontrado. Llegan rumores de que, junto al lecho del rio Civís, a la altura de donde sale el sendero de ascensión a la Cabra Morta, se va poner una imagen del arcángel San Rafael, que sin duda les acompañó muy providencialmente a los expedicionarios de 1937.
   
  Author Alfonso Urbano | 30/11/2021
   Comment Increíble! El año que viene va a haber que apuntarse. Gracias por la crónica.
   
  Author Jordi | 30/11/2021
   Comment Ciertamente que ha sido una visita inolvidable en la que todos los asistentes han colaborado con generosidad y entusiasmo. Solo hay que ver la cara de felicidad de los expedicionarios para darse cuenta de lo que ha sido realmente!
   
  Author Santiago | 30/11/2021
   Comment Realmente ha sido el camino de preguntarse que quiere Dios de cada uno. Han sido unas jornadas inolvidables, recorriendo los mismos pasos de San Josemaría y de D. Tomas Alvira hace 84 años. Ha sido un honor que D. Tomás (hijo) haya compartido con nosotros su viaje interior y de recuerdos. Y ha sido un lujo disfrutar de la dedicación y pasión de Jordi, Ramon y Octavio explicándonos, enseñándonos y recorriendo todas las etapas. Inolvidable. Y por supuesto, sin el increíble tándem Pele-Manuel no habría sido posible. Solo caben agradecimientos.
   
  Author Manuel Fuertes | 30/11/2021
   Comment Camino de libertad, camino de malos hombres, camino de ángeles de la guarda, camino de santos, camino De la Rosa de Rialb, camino de uno mismo. Sendas llenas de reflexión, de momentos cargados de fe. Ha sido una experiencia llena, una experiencia que te deja con las ganas de volver desde antes de dejar el lugar, una conexión única con aquellos que lo recorrieron hace 84 años, una manera excepcional de entender la historia, el presente y el futuro, de conectar con la gente que ahora vive en en esos lugares. Lo mejor del camino sus guardianes, conocerles y conocer su trabajo ha sido un honor especial. Recomendado para todos los que busquen su propio camino, como lo hicieron los miles de personas que por aquí pasaron. Solo puedo dar gracias.
   
  Author Florentino Ysern | 29/11/2021
   Comment No deixa de ser emocionant que el fill d'un dels fugitius celebri la Santa Missa en el mateix lloc on el seu pare va assistir a la de sant josepmaria
   
  Author Geraldo Morujão (Viseu - Portugal) | 29/11/2021
   Comment En hora buena
   
   
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Pallerols de Rialb, November 29, 2021
©2021. Associació d'Amics del Camí de Pallerols de Rialb a Andorra



   
Associació d'Amics del Camí de Pallerols de Rialb a Andorra.   Av. Diagonal, 620, 1er. 2a, 08021 - Barcelona (Spain) . Tel.: (+34) 629 910 612