Shrine of St. Frideswide, Christ Church Cathedral Oxford.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Feast, July 25; St. James the Greater

Saint James most famous for being one of the first disciples of Jesus and for being the only Apostle whose martyrdom was recorded in the Gospels. After Pentecost James preached the Gospels to the Galicians in northern Spain.  James is the patron Saint of Spain due to the finding of his tomb in Galicia in the early Middle Ages. Since then he has been venerated at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, where a shrine withholding his relics is kept. Compostela ranked as one of the major pilgrimage sites in Christendom, attracting pilgrims by the tens of thousands along several pilgrimage routes, one of which was mapped out in the 12th century Clunaic manuscript called Codex Calixstinus. The Cathedral Still attracts thousands of pilgrims, and it still continues the ancient tradition of censing the pilgrims at the mass with a giant thurible. It is also the only mass during the year when the Cathedral is aloud to use the medieval Spanish rite, instead of the universal Roman one. The thurible is still used, and this Sunday, the 25, a pilgrims mass will be held at the Cathedral. At top is a view of the Cathedral, then a leaf from the Codex Calixstinus, and finally an image of the thurible.

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