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St. James was the first of the twelve to be martyred. He died by decapitation under Herod Agrippa in Jerusalem in 42 A.D. St. James is referred to as "the greater" because he was called by Christ before the other apostle of the same name. He preached the Gospel in Samaria, Judea and Spain.

He has a Church dedicated to his name in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. It is said that disciples of Jam
es brought his body from Jerusalem for burial in Spain, in the field of the Star (Compostela). Since the middle ages pilgrims have travelled to the holy city of Santiago to visit his shrine. This pilgrimage is known as the Camino (the way), one of the three great pilgrimage walks in Christendom.The scallop shell, commonly found on the beaches of the Atlantic coast near Santiago, marks the path of the camino to the pilgrim today.

James is the Patron Saint of Guatemala, Labourers, Nicaragua, Pilgrims, Rheumatism, and Spain. St. James is listed in the Roman Canon (Eucharistic Prayer I).

The Cathedral in the Spanish City of Santiago (St James)

Blessing and Prayer for the Pilgrim
Dear Lord Jesus Christ,
who brought your servant Abraham out of the city of the Chaldees,
protecting him through all his travels/wandering,
and who was the Hebrew nation’s guide through the desert,
we ask you to bless these children of yours who,
for the love they bear your name,
are on a pilgrimage to Compostela.

Be for them their companion on the way,
their guide at the crossroads,
their shelter on the road,
their shade in the heat,
their light in the darkness,
their comfort in weariness
and their resolve in intentions.

So that through your guidance,
they arrive sound at the end of their road and,
enriched with grace and virtue,
return home healthy and full of worthy virtues.

In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

"March in the name of Christ Who is the way,
and pray for us in Compostela

(From a leaflet supplied to pilgrims "on the way", by the local Spanish Church)
The Tomb of St James Santiago de Compostela Monte do Gozo
Compostela Holy Year Holy Year 2010
Holy Year on Camino
Pope Marks Feast of St James
  Preserving the Way of St James New Irish Hospitality in Santiago
"The Way" The Way Released  

This page is dedicated to Edit Eőry, Hungarian pilgrim, Alessandra Garbolo and Angelo Lombardi from Italy, whom I met 'on the way' to Santiago, June 2006, who became my dear friends - Editor