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Poor Saint James...And a Question


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
Here in Jerusalem, I am deep into Love in the Time of Cholera – ah no – that was Gabriel García Márquez. Deep into Coronavirus with my love of reading rather than burning my eyes out on Netflix. Reading a book entitled “Jerusalem Pilgrims before the Crusades” compiled by John Wilkinson and not for the faint-hearted. We all know that Saint James lies under the cathedral in SdC, well most of him anyway. There are other records relating to odd bits, flotsam and jetsam perhaps from the trip over from Jerusalem, are located elsewhere. The Armenian Cathedral of Saint James here in Jerusalem has his head – they were first on the scene even before Saint Helena and should know, the entrance to their church decorated with a Veil of Veronica, or Sudarium style representation of Saint James. What happened to him before he arrived in SdC?
Theodosius (died 457) not the Great but a Bishop of Jerusalem, writes in his itinerary of the Holy Land that in Jerusalem Saint James was pushed off the “Pinnacle of the Temple’ escaping unhurt until executed by a fuller (think wool) not a Roman legionnaire. The Pinnacle of the Temple? A high point on the wall surrounding the Temple where Jesus was tempted by Satan. Further, together he was buried on the Mount of Olives with Saint Simeon and Saint Zacharias.
The Piacenza Pilgrim (6th century) knows to tell that Saint Jams once owned a house on Mount Zion close by the Armenian Cathedral where remains an Armenian church marking the place where Jesus was scourged
The nun Hugeburc relates that on her visit to the Holy Land in the 8th century, she visited Capernaum and was shown the house of Zebedee, father of both Saint James and brother Saint John.
The Dome of the Chain (Qubbat al-Silsilah in Arabic); is a free-standing dome located adjacently east of the Dome of the Rock in the Old City of Jerusalem where the Crusaders had a chapel and which marked the place where they believed that Saint James was executed.
Now to the question, I have come across a book entitled, ‘Translating the Relics of St James: From Jerusalem to Compostela’ (Compostela International Studies in Pilgrimage History and Culture) by Antón M. Pazos (Editor) plunking down at 40 quid/$52. This is a bit expensive for me and before I put down that much money I would like to know if anyone has seen/read the book, a recommendation perhaps?


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
You could rent the Kindle version for $9.02 USD.
[/QUOTThank you, I do prefer the book and will wait for the time being.

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
I thought that when Bishop Teodomiro and King Alfonso II discovered/identified (814) the body of Saint James in Galicia, they found a body (in a Roman Cemetery inside a stone sarcophagus covered with a barrel-shaped Cupea) with a head lying next to the body, but with no gravestone and no identifying markers or personal items placed inside the stone coffin.
So are there conflicting claims as to the location of the Saint's head? Galicia and Jerusalem(Armenian Cathedral) both claim to possess the relic of the head?
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