Who was St James? posted: 2012-07-24 16:09:11
It is said that James (brother of Saint John the Evangelist and son of Zebedee a fisherman) was one of the first disciples to join Jesus as an apostle. Christian legend has it that James spent a number of years preaching the word of Jesus in Spain before returning to Jerusalem to spread his gospel. In the year 44 AD he was beheaded by sword, because of his Christian faith by Herod Agrippa the first who was a Roman King of Judea.
St. James was the first of the apostles to die and after his martyrdom as he was not allowed to be burried so it is believed that his followers carried his body to the coast and put it into a stone boat and set to sea. From here, the boat was guided by angels and carried by the wind to land near Finisterre, at Padrón in northern Spain. And there the body lay, forgotten until the 9th century when it was discovered by a hermit.
Field of Stars
Early in that century, a hermit living in that part of Galicia had a vision. It is said that he saw a field of stars that led him to what proved to be an ancient tomb containing three bodies.
The local bishop declared the remains to be those of Sant Iago (or Saint James) which later became known as Santiago, and two of his followers. A small village named Campus de la Stella (Field of Stars) and a monastery were established on the site. News of the discovery spread like wildfire and a trickle of pilgrims began to arrive. Over the years this grew and grew to become the famous routes in to Santiago de Compostela that we know today.
There is also an annual celebration of Saint James in Spain. Take a look at our blog on Celebrating the Feast of Saint James here
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