- James, son of Zebedee
:"For people and places called Saint James, see the
Saint Jamesdisambiguation page."
Acts of the Apostlesrecords that Agrippa I had James executed by sword, [sourcetext| source=Bible| version=King James|book=Acts|chapter=12|verse=1|range=-2] making him the first of the apostles to be martyred.
relics are said to be in Santiago de Compostelain Galicia ( Spain). Saint James is the Patron Saintof Spain. The town where his remains are held, Santiago de Compostela, is considered the third most holy town within Christendom[ [http://www.red2000.com/spain/santiago/history.html History] ] (after Jerusalemand Rome). The traditional pilgrimageto 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 Agesonwards; making him one of the patron saints of pilgrimage.
feast dayof St James is celebrated on July 25on the liturgical calendars of the Roman Catholic, Anglicanand certain Protestantchurches. He is commemorated on April 30in the Orthodox Christian liturgical calendar(for those churches which follow the traditional Julian Calendar, April 30 currently falls on May 13of the modern Gregorian Calendar).
aint James and Hispania
According to ancient local tradition, on
2 Januaryof the year AD 40, the Virgin Maryappeared to James on the bank of the Ebro Riverat Caesaraugusta, while he was preaching the Gospel in Iberia. She appeared upon a pillar, Nuestra Señora 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 Iin the year 44. Citation | last = Chadwick | first = Henry | year = 1976 | title = Priscillian of Avila | publisher = Oxford University Press] Citation | last = Fletcher | first = Richard A. | year = 1984 | title = Saint James's Catapult : The Life and Times of Diego Gelmírez of Santiago de Compostela | publisher = Oxford University Press | url = http://libro.uca.edu/sjc/sjc.htm | accessdate = ]
The translation of his relics from
Judeato 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 Flaviain Iberia, where a massive rock closed around his relics, which were later removed to Compostela. The 12th-century "Historia Compostellana" commissioned by bishopDiego 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 martyrdomat 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.
An even later tradition states that he miraculously appeared to fight for the Christian army during the
battle of Clavijoduring the Reconquista, and was henceforth called "Matamoros" (Moor-slayer). "Santiago y cierra España" ("St James and strike for Spain") has been the traditional battle cryof 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
Priscillian(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 PriscillianCitation | last = Chadwick | first = Henry | year = 1976 | title = Priscillian of Avila | publisher = Oxford University Press] ; 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 Notker, a monk of St. Gall ("Martyrologia", 25 July),
Walafrid Strabo("Poema de XII Apostoli"), and others.
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
St James suffered martyrdom [sourcetext|source=Bible|version=King James|book=Acts|chapter=12|verse=1|range=-2] in AD 44, and according to the tradition of the early Church, he had not yet left Jerusalem at this time. [
Clement of Alexandria, "Stromateis", VI; Apollonius, quoted by Eusebius of Caesarea, "Ecclesiastical History" VI.xviii)] St Paul in his " Epistle to the Romans" written after AD 44, expressed his intention to avoid "building on someone else's foundation" [sourcetext|source=Bible|version=King James|book=Romans|chapter=15|verse=20] , and thus visit Spain [sourcetext|source=Bible|version=King James|book=Romans|chapter=15|verse=24] , presumably unevangelized.
The tradition at Compostela placed the discovery of the relics of the saint in the time of king Alfonso II (791-842) and of bishop Theodemir of
Iria. These traditions were the basis for the pilgrimage route that began to be established in the 9th century, and the shrinededicated to James at Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia in Spain, became the most famous pilgrimage site in the Christian world.Fact|date=May 2008 The Way of St. Jamesis a tree of routes that cross Western Europe and arrive at Santiago through Northern Spain. Eventually James became the patron saintof Spain.
The name "
James" in English comes from "Iacobus" ( Jacob) in Latin, from the Greek "Iacovos". Jacob son of Zebedee is referred to as Jacob in all the languages of the world except English. For some reason, though the word Jacob is known in English and written often in the Old Testament, in the New Testament the name "James" has been substituted for "Jacob". In France, the closest country to England, Jacob is translated "Jacques". In eastern Spain, Jacobus became "Jacome" or "Jaime"; in Catalunya, it became Jaume, in western Iberia it became "Sant'Iago", from Yako of Hebrew Ya'akov/Jacob, which developed into "San Tiago" in Portugal and Galicia; Tiago developed into "Diego", which is also the Spanish name of Saint Didacus of Alcalá.
James' emblem was the
scallopshell (or "cockle shell"), and pilgrims to his shrine often wore that symbol on their hats or clothes. The French for a scallopis "coquille St. Jacques", which means "cockle (or mollusk) of St James". The German word for a scallop is "Jakobsmuschel", which means "mussel (or clam) of St. James"; the Dutch word is "Jacobsschelp", meaning "shell of St James".
The military Order of Santiago or "caballeros
santiaguistas" was founded to fight the Moors and later membership became a precious honour. People like Diego Velázquezlonged for the royal favour that allowed to put on their clothes the red cross of St James(a cross fleury fitchy, with lower part fashioned as the blade of a sword blade).
Saint James in the Kingdom of Judaiah
Saint James had a special place in the
Central African Kingdom of Kongobecause of his association with the founding of Christianity in the country in the late fifteenth century. Portuguese sailors and diplomats brought the saint to Kongo when they first reached the country in 1483. When King Afonso I of Kongowhose Kongo name was Mvemba a Nzinga, the second Christian king, was facing a rival, his brother Mpanzu a Kitima, in battle, he reported that a vision of Saint James and the Heavenly Host appeared in the sky, frightened Mpanzu a Kitima's soldiers, and gave Afonso the victory. As a result, he declared that Saint James' feast day (July 25) be celebrated as a national holiday.
Over the years, Saint James day became the central holiday of Kongo. Taxes were collected on that day, and men eligible for military duty were required to appear armed. There were usually regional celebrations as well as one at the capital. In some cases, Kongolese slaves carried the celebration to the New World, and there are celebrations of Saint James Day in Haiti and Puerto Rico carried out by their descendents.
Saint James in modern fiction
*The idea of "Santiago" fighting for Spain features in the plot of the first episode of the British TV series, "Sharpe".
Way of St. James
Cross of St James
Saint Peter of Rates
* [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08279b.htm "Catholic Encyclopedia": St James the Greater]
* [http://libro.uca.edu/sjc/sjc3.htm R. A. Fletcher, "Saint James's Catapult: The Life and Times of Diego Gelmírez of Santiago de Compostela"] Oxford University Press, 1984: chapter 3, "The Early History of the Cult of St. James"
* [http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsViewer.asp?SID=4&ID=1&FSID=101248 Apostle James the Brother of St John the Theologian] Orthodox
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