Presentation on theme: "St James of Compostela Compostela owes its fame to St James, the Apostle supposed to have evangelised Spain. Humble and powerful came there to express."— Presentation transcript:
St James of Compostela Compostela owes its fame to St James, the Apostle supposed to have evangelised Spain. Humble and powerful came there to express and defend their faith. Today, pilgrims from all around the world are more numerous than ever on the roads to Compostela. But they do not stop at Compostela, they walk on to Finisterre, where the Earth ends, and the Milky Way joins the Ocean
St James the apostle James the son of Zebedee and his brother John were among the twelve disciples of Our Lord. Tradition has it that he made a missionary journey to Spain, and that after his death his body was taken to Spain and buried there at Compostela. In his supposed burial place there was a major site of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages.
A Pilgrimage? Why ? Pilgrimage is an important part of spiritual life for many Christians. They see life itself as a journey, coming from God and returning to God. Back in the Middle Ages pilgrimages were very popular. They were long and very dangerous - not at all like a holiday! It may have taken many years. The pilgrims would usually travel in groups, and stay in monasteries or inns overnight. People went on pilgrimage for many reasons - perhaps to say sorry to God for something they had done wrong (penance), or because they were ill and wanted God to heal them.
The scallop shell, emblem of the pelgrims to St James of Compostela The scallop shell is the traditional emblem of saint James and is popular with pilgrims on the way of st James to the apostle's shrine at Santiago de Compostella in Spain. Medieval Christians making the pilgrimage to his shrine often wore a scallop shell symbol on their hat or clothes. The pilgrim also carried a scallop shell with him and would present himself at churches, castles, abbeys etc. where he could expect to be given as much sustenance as he could pick up with one scoop. Probably he would be given oats, barley, and perhaps beer or wine. Thus even the poorest household could give charity without being overburdened.
Saint James is always represented with a big walking stick to his side. It is thanks to it that the pilgrims managed to oppose to the brigands and to push back the wild animals. For this reason, this object became the main attribute of the pilgrims on their way to Compostelle. For this reason, this object became the main attribute of the pilgrims on their way to Compostelle. The pelgrims made it bless before leaving their parish to go to Galicia, in Spain.
In 950, Godescalc, bishop in Le Puy, was the first pelegrim to Saint James of Compostela Le Puy en Velay is a departure town for the « Via Podensis », one of the medieval ways to Saint James of Compostela.
From Le Puy to Conques across the Massif Central mountains
There were 100.000 pelgrims for the Holy Year 1999 and nearly 200.000 in 2004. But these figures mean nothing as only those who ask to receive the "compostella" are counted. They travel to Saint-Jacques de Compostela on foot or by bicycle, sometimes on horseback. In addition, it is walked since the IXth century by Christians forming step in monasteries, the pilgrimage of Saint James has also become a famous trek, where the walkers cross art lovers