One of the highlights of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage is bringing a stone to the Cruz de Ferro. A steel cross placed high on a wooden pole might not seem significant, but peregrinos approach the small hill with silence and respect. The stone usually comes from the pilgrim’s home and is carried nearly all the way. Placing it at the cross before entering Santiago symbolizes a release of burdens. People bring other objects, too: photos, religious tokens, letters.
There is a traditional prayer that accompanies the placing of a stone or object:
O Lord, may the stone which I bring to this holy place be a sign of pilgrimage to Santiago. When I reach my final judgment, tip the balance of my life in favor of my good deeds. I lay down this token which I carry from [starting point]. Please forgive my sins and help me carry my burdens in life. Amen.