Sanctus Iacobus, Yago, Iago, Tiago, Thiago (Portuguese), Santyago, Santiago, Xacobo, Xacobe (Galician), Jacob, James (English), Jacques (French), Jaime (Catalan), Giacobo, Giacomo (Italian), Xaume, Jacome, Jaume, Jacobo, Diego, ܝܘܚܢܢ ܫܠܝܚܐ Yohanan Shliha (Aramaic), יוחנן בן זבדי Yohanan Ben Zavdai (Hebrew), Ioannes (Latin)…
These are all very common names in Christian countries and even though they all sound very different and have distinct spellings, they all have the same meaning and origin. Those names refer to the Apostle Saint James, the Saint Patron of Spain and the Saint Patron of Pilgrims. The Saint that gave his name to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Santiago de Guayaquil in Ecuador, Santiago de Cuba, Santiago de Chile, Santiago in the Philippines, Santiago del Estero in Argentina, Santiago de los Caballeros in Guatemala and in Dominican Republic.
Like millions before you over the centuries, you finally accomplished the Camino de Santiago and reached the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. For 1000, pilgrims reaching Santiago have accomplished various Rituals, which we would like to detail in this article.
The Cathedral of Santiago
The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is a masterpiece of Romanesque and Baroque art. It is the support and main attraction to the City of Santiago de Compostela which was built around it. It is the resting place of the Apostle Saint James and its historical and spiritual importance for the building of Spain and Christianity as we know it is huge.
When learning about the History of Santiago de Compostela there is one man that regularly comes up as the saviour, historian, architect and politician that made this city possible. We are of course talking about Diego Gelmírez or Xelmírez (Latin Didacus Gelmirici) (ca 1069 – ca 1149) who was the second bishop (from 1100) and the first archbishop (from 1120) of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santiago de Compostela.
He is a prominent figure in the history of Galicia and an important historiographer of the Iberia of his day. Diego involved himself in many quarrels, ecclesiastical and secular, which were recounted in the Historia Compostelana, which covered his episcopacy from 1100 to 1139 and serves as a sort of gesta of the bishop’s life.