Deeds, Not Words

Deeds, Not Words

Yeb Saño shares what it has been like to walk through the "divine and spiritual" Great St Bernard Pass of the Alps.

back to listing
Tuesday 03 November 2015 at 20:54
Deeds, Not Words

For the last 24 hours, our group has been walking up with the Swiss Alps to reach the Great St Bernard Pass. After spending the night 8100 ft (2469 m) above sea level at Hospice du Grand-Saint-Bernard, a historical shelter for pilgrims passing through, we're now walking down the Alps towards Geneva. I’ve had such a powerful experience here because of the Alps. Especially for people who live in the tropics, it’s overwhelmingly beautiful scenery, but also it reminds you of the powerful divine forces around you.

It’s a very spiritual experience.

Crossing the Alps represents a lot of meaningful things, including the fact that it is probably the biggest physical obstacle between Rome and Paris that we have to overcome. And it’s not just a mountain — it’s a cold mountain at this time of the year. So getting through it [crossing the Alps] in this long journey is quite possibly the most important metaphor we can encounter, in the context of the contrast related to climate change.

22726095761_f53ba946ec_kThe People's Pilgrimage on top of Great St Bernard Pass

Staying at the Hospice du Grand-Saint-Bernard for me was like being transported back into the past. The Great St Bernard Pass has a rich history which we were able to learn more about — it is the most ancient pass through the Western Alps and has been an important route for pilgrims in ancient times and until today.

Having now rested in such a refuge in the middle of nowhere – in the middle of a harsh environment – and reflecting on how many people have taken shelter in the same place was rewarding. The hospice is an important spiritual place, not just for the monks who live there, but also for pilgrims who stop over at the hospice. We were taken care of by people who have been running the place for a thousand years and we could feel the entire history and intense spirituality around being a pilgrim.

Staying there allowed us to get in touch with our innermost pilgrim feelings.

22093422373_1c587e19ac_kThe People's Pilgrimage with Hospice du Grand-Saint-Bernard in the background

A key teaching of St Bernard we learned was “Deeds, not words” and it is something I think speaks to our mission of what we're trying to do. The People’s Pilgrimage represents climate action. It represents also, in a political way, that the time for talking is long over.

The time to demonstrate the need to take steps forward in the form of many kinds of actions all over the world is now, and this is what The People's Pilgrimage continues to spread on our road to the Paris UN climate talk later this month.

Thank you for joining with us on our journey,

Yeb

Photos by Alex Price; See all the photos from Rome to Paris journey on Facebook

The People's Pilgrimage still needs support to make it to Paris safely. Help them today by donating and sharing our crowdfunder.

Stay updated on the pilgrimage - sign up below.

Thank you for subscribing. We'll keep you up to date.
  • They Made It

    Thursday 03 December 2015 at 23:04

    After walking 1500km over 59 days, the People's Pilgrimage for Climate Justice made it to Paris.

    Read more
  • Sparkling In The Distance

    Friday 13 November 2015 at 21:57

    After over six months of eager anticipation and journeying through different parts of the world, the People's Pilgrimage has finally landed on French soil.

    Read more
  • Au Revoir, Italie

    Thursday 12 November 2015 at 20:28

    The People's Pilgrimage says goodbye to Italy and is warmly welcomed in Geneva at the Ecumenical Centre.

    Read more
  • Deeds, Not Words

    Tuesday 03 November 2015 at 20:54

    Yeb Saño shares what it has been like to walk through the "divine and spiritual" Great St Bernard Pass of the Alps.

    Read more
  • The Great Obstacle: Crossing The Alps

    Monday 02 November 2015 at 15:08

    The People's Pilgrimage for Climate Justice reaches their halfway point to Paris. Yeb Saño shares an update from the road.

    Read more
  • The Latest From The Road

    Friday 16 October 2015 at 11:56

    We've traversed two-lane roads, off-road paths, and numerous hill climbs which gave evidence to our singularity of purpose.

    Read more
  • Embracing Our Pilgrimage

    Saturday 03 October 2015 at 17:34

    The People's Pilgrimage is welcomed in Corchiano, Italy on their journey to Paris.

    Read more
  • Civitavecchia: A Town Stricken By Cancer

    Friday 02 October 2015 at 12:00

    Day 2 of the People's Pilgrimage brings the pilgrims to an Italian community facing serious health problems due to a local coal power plant.

    Read more
  • Face To Face With Pope Francis

    Thursday 01 October 2015 at 15:57

    Yeb Saño and pilgrims of The People's Pilgrimage receives blessings from Pope Francis to start their 1500km journey to Paris ahead of COP21.

    Read more
  • Next Stop: Paris

    Wednesday 30 September 2015 at 15:25

    The People's Pilgrimage for Climate Action, led by Yeb Saño, departs Rome for a 1500km walk to Paris ahead of COP21.

    Read more
  • The Faces Of Cyclone Hudhud

    Tuesday 01 September 2015 at 21:10

    The People's Pilgrimage travels to Visakhapatnam where Cyclone Hudhud caused extensive damage 10 months ago.

    Read more
  • A Pilgrim's Refuge

    Monday 31 August 2015 at 19:44

    The Govardhan EcoVillage provides the perfect resting place for The People's Pilgrimage through India.

    Read more
  • Immersing In Hope

    Wednesday 26 August 2015 at 20:10

    In Varanasi, the Holiest City in India, The People's Pilgrimage receives a warm welcome from Banaras Hindu University students.

    Read more
  • In the Footsteps of Gandhi

    Monday 24 August 2015 at 21:50

    Yeb Saño reflects on Gandhi's words after his journey through New Delhi for The People's Pilgrimage.

    Read more
  • Walking With Heroes

    Wednesday 19 August 2015 at 18:29

    Yeb Saño shares a reflection from his Roman pilgrimage with multi-faith emerging climate leaders for The People's Pilgrimage.

    Read more
  • Next Stop: India

    Friday 14 August 2015 at 15:58

    Yeb Saño prepares for the next leg of his global journey visiting communities at risk and fighting climate change.

    Read more
  • Introduction

    Wednesday 15 July 2015 at 16:21

    Read more
  • A Collective Odyssey

    Tuesday 16 June 2015 at 13:39

    Yeb Saño shares a beautiful reflection on the warm welcome received in Vanuatu for the People's Pilgrimage.

    Read more
  • Crossing The Bridge

    Thursday 21 May 2015 at 16:07

    Yeb Saño shares his story from Tacloban City for the launch of the People's Pilgrimage.

    Read more
  • My Earth Day Announcement

    Wednesday 22 April 2015 at 12:45

    Philippines climate envoy, Yeb Saño, announces his leave from diplomacy to fight climate change with OurVoices.

    Read more