The Pilgrimage Route of Saint James in Spain
St. James, apostle of Christ, also known as Boanerges (Son of Thunder), came to Spain to spread the gospel, and it is said that during his stay there, the Virgin appeared to him on the banks of the River Ebro. He later returned to Palestine where he was decapitated by Herodes Agripa in 42 AD, becoming the first apostle to be martyred because of his beliefs.
His disciples put his body in a boat and sailed to Galicia, burying him on the site where the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela was later built, which would later become a place of worship and pilgrimage for Christianity.
In 859, during the Moorish occupation of Spain, a small Christian army prayed to the Saint before going into battle and defeated a large Arab army composed of thousands of soldiers. From that point onwards, the Apostle St. James became the protector of Christian forces against the Arabs during the Reconquest. Reunification after the struggle against Islam led to the formation of the Kingdom of Spain, with the Apostle St. James being adopted as the patron saint.
Origin of the name:
Jacob (James in English)
Pronounce in Hebrew "Yaakov"
Sant Iago (Saint Iago)
(Santiago, Jaime, Diego, Jacobo in Spanish)
In 1987, the Council of Europe declared the Way of St. James the First European Cultural Route, and later recognized it as a World Heritage site.
It enters Spain at Roncesvalles, passing through Navarra, La Rioja, Castille and Leon, and, still following the stars, enters Galicia at the sierras of the Ancares and the ‘Green Cathedral’ of the Caurel, taking the pilgrims right to the end of the known world, where the land died in the sea or where, according to the Celts, the last star in the Milky Way shone, also known as the Rainbow Way.
XACOBEO 2010: CAMINO DE ESPIRITUALIDAD - HOLY YEAR!