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Who was Santiago?

The Way is the end, and the earth, dusty and asphalt, is the means to go through it. The Roman and formerly Celtic Finis Terrae is the destination of thousands of people during these years of the beginning of the millennium. It seems that before the appearance of the body of the apostle James was already going to Finis Terrae, and there thousands of men felt that "religious horror" when they saw the sun shut down in the waters of the ocean.

The pilgrim resurgence, especially since the Jacobean Year -1993- is a fact that social scholars will have to analyze. The mixture of sports challenge with religiosity, in search of the authentic and of oneself, all escorted by Romanesque and Gothic styles, between Templar knights and Benedictine monks, between beeches and trigos, between chestnuts and carvallos, between legends and miracles make the Camino de Santiago a singular experience. The marketing of the different Autonomous Communities has done the rest. For many the journey of the Camino de Santiago becomes a pilgrimage when they meet the religious and historical roots of Europe, when they renew a path of internal transformation, and when they walk at the rhythm of other centuries.

Since the discovery of the tomb of the Apostle James in Compostela, in the ninth century, the Camino de Santiago became the most important pilgrimage route of medieval Europe. The passage of the innumerable pilgrims who, moved by their faith, headed for Compostela from all the European countries, served as the starting point for an artistic, social and economic development that left its mark throughout the Camino de Santiago.

The center of the Jacobean tradition is the belief that the body of Santiago is buried in the tomb of Compostela. It ran in 813 after Christ when the bishop of Iria Flavia, Teodomiro, warned by eremita Pelayo of the existence of some mysterious lights, informed the Asturian king Alfonso II of the miraculous discovery of a tomb containing the mortal remains of the apostle Santiago. According to legend, the disciples of Santiago in the year 42 stole the body of Palestine, where they decapitated him, and embarked on a ship that with an angelic crew arrived in Iria, at the confluence of the Sar and the Ulla (currently the estuary of Arousa).

As soon as they caught, the body of the apostle was brought by the air 12 miles to the place where he was sold today. In the cathedral of Santiago the rock is preserved where they say that the boat that brought the body of the saint was tied. With the "appearance" of the body of the apostle began what we now know as the Compostelan route: "The way of the stars."

There are several Santiagos in the New Testament, therefore it is necessary to identify well our Santiago, to which the appeal is added: "James, the Son of Zebedee or the Elder." He was the older brother of John, the Apostle, and originally from Bethsaida lived in nearby Cafarnaun, working in the family fishing business on the banks of Lake Genesaret; they belonged to a family of modest owners with their father Zebedeo.

They were associated with another sibling pair, Pedro and Andrés, in the fishing industry of the lake for whose work they had occasional employees. From this circle of fishermen, Jesus took his first four disciples: Pedro and his brother Andrés, Santiago and his brother Juan. Santiago therefore enjoyed special trust and relationship with Jesus, as one of the basic disciples, standing out with Peter and John from the rest of the disciples, obtaining the position of privileged witness in the most important moments. Jesus himself nicknamed Santiago and Juan with the nickname "sons of thunder" surely for his arrogance and decision. Santiago appears as a passionate person, capable of putting everything in play; a man who swears away by his drive and who is not to take calculations and measure consequences. After Jesus died, Santiago is part of the initial group of the Early Church of Jerusalem. Herod Antipas I chose him, as did Peter, as representative figures to confine the Christian community and to content the Jews. And so ends Santiago: Herod beheaded him with the sword back in the years 41-44, becoming the first apostle to pour his blood through Jesus Christ.