SANTIAGO APOSTOL

Apostle of Jesus "Santiago, the son of Zebedee or the Mayor, was the older brother of John, both from Bethsaida lived in nearby Capernaum, working in the family business of fishing on the banks of Lake Genesaret; were therefore , a family of modest owners with their father Zebedee. Were associated with another pair of brothers, Peter and Andrew in the fishing industry of the lake whose work had to casual employees. From this circle of fishermen Jesus took his first four disciples, Peter and his brother Andrew, Santiago and his brother John.

   Santiago, and enjoyed a special trust relationship with Jesus and the disciples of a commodity, especially with Juan Pierre and the rest of the disciples, giving the privileged position of witnessing the most important moments. Jesus himself nicknamed James, and John with the nickname "sons of thunder" ( Mc, III, 17 ).

   Santiago appears to be a passionate person, full of bravery and determination, able to put everything at stake, as a person away for his drive and not to throw stones at and measure impact. Santiago is part of the initial group of the Early Church of Jerusalem.

   Santiago was present at important moments in the life of Jesus and is considered one of his favorites. Attended, along with John and Peter, the resurrection of the daughter of Jairus. He witnessed the Transfiguration and was also the Garden of Gethsemane.

    San Lucas ( Lc, IX, 33) tells us one of their times: with his brother John asked Jesus to make fire from heaven down to raze a inhospitalarios Samaritans who refused to give shelter to the master.

    The tradition ascribes a great work of evangelization in the Spanish province that he had in the division that made the Apostles to spread the Gospel of Christ. Probably came to Spain in 41 years and remained there until the end of 42 years. He traveled the roads of Italica, Merida, Coimbra, Braga, Iria, Lugo, Astorga, Palencia, Horma, Numancia and Zaragoza, where the Virgin appeared to him in Pilar. Then, on the Ebro, could take the Via Augusta Tortosa Valencia, Chinchilla and Cazlona to return from a port or Murcian andaluz Palestine.

    Herodes Agripa, Judea´s King ( Act, XII, 2), grandson of Herod the Great, it does so with the sword to behead the 44 years, becoming the first apostle to shed their blood for Christ.

    His body was transferred by the Apostles to the Spanish peninsula, carried in a vessel to Iria Flavia. Disembarked and walked about 4 miles north to the ancient Roman Via Brigatium would reach Liberodonum burying the corpse. Raised a mausoleum, "Arca marmorica" as diplomas Alfondo III, Ordoņo II, III and Sancho Ordoņo the Crassus. According to tradition, next to the tomb of Santiago rested the bodies of his disciples Athanasius and Theodore.

   This saw the light in times of Alfonso the Chaste and Teodomiro, bishop of Iria Flavia. In memory of fausto such event, the place was called "Campus stellae" or "Compostela".

 King Alfonso II sent a tomb built on the simple church and start to get visitors to the tomb of the Apostle.

   During the time of the Reconquista, Santiago becomes a character who is invoked for divine protection in the fight against the infidel. Santiago Matamoros arises. And in the bloody battles against the Moors, many times the victory was attributed to divine intervention and assistance through the call to Santiago.

    In the year 844, another phenomenon backing to give the final figure of Santiago as the embodiment of the Reconquest. On May 23 in Clavijo near Logroņo, King Ramiro I of Asturias faces Muslim troops Abderraman II clearly outnumbered. In the full heat of the battle appears Apostle Santiago sword in hand on the back of his famous white horse cuts spreading among the infidels. Christians and prognosis due to the myth of St James finally passed the Pyrenees. Born in Santiago Matamoros nickname.

   In the tenth century the pilgrimage to Compostela is an established fact in Christianity. It is the time of the road from the coast safer than the interior, exposed to the Arab raids. Will be from the year 1000 when the popular pilgrimage to Santiago, as they did before the pilgrims to Rome or Jerusalem Palmeros. Monarchs understood that maintaining the road was open and expeditious way to ensure a vital economic, commercial and military to control its territory.

   Two are the kings who supported the route over the navarro Sancho III Major and Castilian Alfonso VI. The Way provides a range of infrastructure (roads and bridges) and care places for pilgrims. Fundamental in this field have been hospitable religious orders, including the Cluny.

  
The first explosion in the pilgrimage to Santiago was in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, coinciding with the splendor of Romanesque art. In 1122 Pope Callistus II proclaims Jacobean Holy Year in which the July 25 match on Sunday. Multitudes of people begin to arrive from all over Europe, giving a cosmopolitan touch to the cities through which the road. The French Way is the most used and Roncesvalles there are thousands and thousands of pilgrims in recent years later with the conquest of Zaragoza Somport enable the ramp to Puente La Reina. The old Roman road from Bordeaux to Astorga past Vitoria and Briviesca and Astorga to Iria Flavia basis for the route and there large numbers of villages and cities that host a new class of urban artisans and merchants, most francs.

   La Reconquista, a process that runs from 711 to 1492 and that Grenada is taken by the Catholic Monarchs and closes the cycle and the unity of Spain



  
  From the fourteenth century the Way enters decline, the Black Death had decimated Europe's population begins to split Christianity (Protestant pilgrimages considered as acts populacheros), the world begins to widen the monarchs and dedicate their efforts to win new worlds

   Back in the sixteenth century, the Archbishop of Santiago, San Juan Clemente, hid the body for fear losingleses who were close to the city. When later Cardinal Payá Compostela occupied the headquarters of the newly discovered relics of the saint. Initiated a thorough process that finally sent to Rome and a bull of Leo XIII "Deus omnipotens of 1 November 1884 ratified and confirmed the Decision of the Special Commission Congregarciķn of the Sacred Rites, which declared authentic relics James and his disciples Athanasius and Theodore.

    The figure of James, as Patron of Spain, has been host to or throughout our history of conquest and reconquest. Now begins the discovery of America and again the figure of Santiago noted the decisive intervention of Santiago is in the minds of the discoverers and conquerors:

 "And as he fell into the earth is horrified and said that Abia yndios dropped yllapa, thunder and lightning in the sky ... And so Mr James declined to defend Christians. Dizen came over a white horse, ... and all the holy flag and armed his sword and his red blanket naked and destruction that came with large and very dead and broke many yndios fence around the Indian Christians to Manco Inca had ordered and carried the holy much noise and is horrified of them Indians. (..) And since then the Indians call it the lightning and tell Santiago..." (F. Guaman Poma, 1615)

   In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are improved communications and the way it recovers the prestige and receives illustrious pilgrims, but in the nineteenth freethinkers, scientific discoveries, the industrial and urban development do not get along with a way of life reminiscent medieval. The crisis was so acute that in 1884 Pope Leo XIII had to declare the true remains of the Apostle reappeared in some excavations (had been hidden in the sixteenth century to the threat of raids led by the British pirate Francis Drake). Nowadays, the pilgrimage to Santiago seems to regain the glory of yesteryear, in 1985 UNESCO declared the route as a World Heritage of Humanity.

   His feast day is celebrated on July 25 and is the patron saint of Spain