Friday, July 25, 2008

Saint James the Greater

"Saint James the Greater" by Carlo Maratti

Although today is my name's day (Christopher), the main Saint who's feast is celebrated is Saint James the Greater.

He is associated with Santiago de Compostela in Spain, where his relics are. There is a great tradition of making pilgrimage. I actually met a priest from the next diocese over, who made the pilgrimage himself. He said it was an awesome experience which really is analagous to the spiritual life.

One of the things you learn about is Providence and tradition. Apparently, pilgrims have left signs for other pilgrims on routes and places to stay. He said that most people would never notice these signs, but eventually you know what to look for. He said it was very profound that those who have gone before you have left signs and passed down their knowledge to you.

He also told me it is a test of perseverance. You do have to walk quite a ways depending on your itenerary. He also said that after the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, you can do the "hardcore" thing and actually make the final trek of the pilgrimage to the coast which is the Western-most point of continental Europe, and you can there pick up a real shell, rather than some thing you bought.

He mentioned a website about the pilgrimages, but I can't remember it exactly. But I did find this one (which may be it).

The Confraternity of Saint James

And of course, if you want to see a thurible so big, they have to put incense in with shovels ... and they actually swing the turible throughout the whole church, which takes four men, then I have to include the post from last year about the


I just regret the congregation has to clap afterwards. Oh well.

"Saint James the Greater"
[saying there should be no applause in Church]
by Alonso Cano


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