A friend sent an email earlier today saying that today was St James’ Day and she had prayed for me and my Camino, and for all pilgrims on the Way!
The James in question (in whose honour the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela was built) is James, the apostle, son of Zebedee and brother of John. He was a fisherman of the Sea of Galilee, and called by Jesus to become a fisher of men (and women)
James’ death, by beheading at the behest of Herod (Agrippa) is the only apostolic martyrdom recorded in the Acts of the Apostles (New Testament) and tradition (or legend) has it that James’ remains were taken to what we now know as Santiago de Compostela. James may also have spread the Good News of Jesus in Spain.
As most of you know, I think, the Camino is known in English as the Way of St James, and while there is a myriad of routes starting in very different locations, what they all have in common is that they all lead to the shrine of St James in Santiago Cathedral! It will be magnificent to step into that sacred space …
I will be one in a long long line of pilgrims making my way to Santiago.
The route I’ve chosen is probably the most famous one (known in English as the French Way (Camino Frances) as it starts in the French Pyrenees). The Camino was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages in the Middle Ages .. but has been walked by pilgrims from the time of the discovery of St. James’s remains in 812 AD, that’s a whole lot of footsteps to follow, but also a whole host or gaggle (or whatever would be collective noun be) of saints cheering me -and my felllow peregrines- on!
If you are a Pray-er do please continue praying for me and my Camino … the preparations for the next month and a half – and also for those walking those paths today, tomorrow whenever you read this.
More information on St James here