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santiago-78Saint James the Greater was one of Jesus’ twelve Apostles. A Galilean fisherman, he was with his brother of John and their friend Peter the first disciples recruited by Jesus and they formed his inner circle. Always closest to him, they alone witnessed the Transfiguration on mount Tabor when Jesus revealed his divine apsect for the first time.

According to the Acts of the Apostles he was executed on the orders of Herod Agrippa in AD 44 , the first Apostle to be martyred.

By the time of the discovery of the mausoleum at Compostela, the burial places of all the major Apostles were known with the exception of Saint James. Peter and Paul at Rome and John at Ephesus. It was generally believed that the Apostles were buried in the lands which they had evangelised.

Already before the discovery of the tomb, there had been a growing interest in the cult of Saint James in Spain and a tradition that he had fulfilled his Apostolic Mission there.

santiago-48In the first century, the apochryphal Gospel of the Twelve Holy Apostles describing the gift of tongues which had been given to the Apsotles at the Pentecost so they could carry the gospel to the the world, ascribed to each one the language of the land he was destined to evangelise. James was given the gift of Latin, implying lands to the West.

A Greek language account of the Apostles and the lands where they had preached was written and translated into Latin some time in the seventh century and was known as the Breviary of the Apostles. Here it records that Saint James had preached in Spain. A short time later another text, again of indeterminate date and attributed at the time to Isidore of Seville dealing with the lives of the Apostles and Prophets confirmed the belief that James had preached:“to the peoples of Spain and the western places, at the world’s edge”.

6 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] Antichrist was now come and the End Times were unfoldng. Beatus was one of the first to claim that Saint James had fulfilled his Apostolic Mission in Spain following the Pentecost and prior to his martyrdom at […]

  2. […] investigate the new discovery and very quickly pronounced it to be the tomb and the relics of the Apostle Saint James. The king of Asturias, Alfonso II, had a small church built over the site and on his death in 842, […]

  3. […] also regarded the west coast of Spain as the limit of the earth. Considered in the context of the Mission of the Apostles it was a significant location. According to widely held belief the End of the World could only […]

  4. […] Reconquista, Saint James, Santiago de Compostela Christ had named the Apostles James and his brother John, the Sons of […]

  5. […] was considered one of Saint James’ original disciples during his ministry  in Spain and had reputedly been ordained bishop by the […]

  6. […] As a direct link to the original Apostolic Mission, Trophimus was held in the highest esteem. This perception is graphically rendered in the sculpture of the west facade of the cathedral where Trophimus is admitted into the college of the Apostles standing alongside James of Compostela. […]

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