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St. James

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din 24 Februarie 2009

Veneration

His relics are said to be in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia (Spain). Saint James is the Patron Saint of Spain. The town where his remains are held, Santiago de Compostela, is considered the third most holy town within Christendom[6] (after Jerusalem and Rome). The traditional pilgrimage to the grave of the saint, known as the "Way of St. James," has become the most popular pilgrimage for Western European Catholics from the early Middle Ages onwards. In 2007, 114,026 pilgrims registered as having completed the final 100 km walk (200 km by bicycle) to Santiago to qualify for a Compostela.[7] When July 25 falls on a Sunday, it is a ?Jubilee? year, and a special east door is opened for entrance into the Santiago Cathedral. In the last Jubilee year, 2004, 179,944 pilgrims received a Compostela. The next Jubilee year is 2010, and the number of pilgrims is expected to exceed 250,000.

The feast day of St James is celebrated on July 25 on the liturgical calendars of the Roman Catholic, Anglican and certain Protestant churches. He is commemorated on April 30 in the Orthodox Christian liturgical calendar (for those churches which follow the traditional Julian Calendar, April 30 currently falls on May 13 of the modern Gregorian Calendar).

Saint James and Spain



According to ancient local tradition, on 2 January of the year AD 40, the Virgin Mary appeared to James on the bank of the Ebro River at Caesar Augusta, while he was preaching the Gospel in Iberia. She appeared upon a pillar, Nuestra Se?ora del Pilar, and that pillar is conserved and venerated within the present Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, in Zaragoza, Spain. Following that apparition, St James returned to Judea, where he was beheaded by King Herod Agrippa I in the year 44.



The 12th-century Historia Compostellana commissioned by Bishop Diego Gelmírez provides a summary of the legend of St James as it was believed at Compostela. Two propositions are central to it: first, that St James preached the gospel in Iberia as well as in the Holy Land; second, that after his martyrdom at the hands of Herod Agrippa I his disciples carried his body by sea to Iberia, where they landed at Padrón on the coast of Galicia, and took it inland for burial at Santiago de Compostela.

The translation of his relics from Judea to Galicia in the northwest of Iberia was effected, in legend, by a series of miraculous happenings: decapitated in Jerusalem with a sword by Herod Agrippa himself, his body was taken up by angels, and sailed in a rudderless, unattended boat to Iria Flavia in Iberia, where a massive rock closed around his relics, which were later removed to Compostela. An even later tradition states that he miraculously appeared to fight for the Christian army during the battle of Clavijo during the Reconquista, and was henceforth called Matamoros (Moor-slayer). Santiago y cierra Espa?a ("St James and strike for Spain") has been the traditional battle cry of Spanish armies.

A similar miracle is related about San Millán. The possibility that a cult of James was instituted to supplant the Galician cult of Priscilla (executed in 385) who was widely venerated across the north of Iberia as a martyr to the bishops rather than as a heretic should not be overlooked. This was cautiously raised by Henry Chadwick in his book on Priscillian; it is not the traditional Roman Catholic view. The Catholic Encyclopedia of 1908, however, states:

Although the tradition that James founded an apostolic see in Iberia was current in the year 700, no certain mention of such tradition is to be found in the genuine writings of early writers nor in the early councils; the first certain mention we find in the ninth century, in Nortker , a monk of St. Gall (Martyrologia, 25 July), Walafrid Strabo (Poema de XII Apostoli), and others.





17th century interpretation of saint James as the Moor-killer from the Peruvian school of Cuzco. The pilgrim hat has become a Panama hat and his mantle is that of his military order.

The tradition was not unanimously admitted afterwards, while numerous modern scholars, following Louis Duchesne, reject it. The Bollandists however defended it (their Acta Sanctorum, July, VI and VII, gives further sources). The suggestion began to be made from the 9th century that, as well as evangelizing in Iberia, his body may have been brought to Compostela. No earlier tradition places the burial of St James in Hispania. A rival tradition, places the relics of the Apostle in the church of St. Saturnin at Toulouse, but it is not improbable that such sacred relics should have been divided between two churches.

The authenticity of the relics at Compostela was asserted in the Bull of Pope Leo XIII, Omnipotens Deus, of 1 November 1884.

The Catholic Encyclopedia (1908) registered several "difficulties" or bases for doubts of this tradition beyond the late appearance of the legend:

St James suffered martyrdom in AD 44, and according to the tradition of the early ...

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