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That post noted that October 23 is the Feast Day for another James, the brother of Jesus. Which can be confusing. (Not least of all because there were as many as six or eight “Jameses” in the Bible.) Again, “James (’10/23′)” and see also “Hola! Buen Camino!” (From October 2017.)
[I]n case you’re confused – about the number of “Jameses” in the Bible – there are at least three men named James in the New Testament, and possibly as many as eight. (See “BIO of Philip and James…”) In that list, James the Just (“Brother of Jesus”) is listed third. James the Less – possibly the “son of Alphaeus” – is listed second. Listed first is St. James the Greater – “for whom the Camino de Santiago* is named,” and who is in fact the Patron Saint of Pilgrims. Which is something I mentioned in my last post, On a pilgrimage in Spain.
Which brings up my next pilgrimage. In 2017 – and as noted in the paragraph above – my Utah brother and I hiked (and biked) the most popular “Camino,” the French Way. (In my case, to Santiago de Compostela from Pamplona. where among other things we drank at the Café Iruna of Ernest Hemingway fame – a “whole ‘nother story.”) But a month from now – September 2, 2019 – my brother and I will start hiking the 140 or so miles, from Porto “back” up to Santiago.* Via the Portuguese Way, and this time we’ll be joined by my Utah sister-in-law.
On a related note see Feast of Saint James the Apostle in Spain – timeanddate.com:
Many people in Spain celebrate the life and deeds of James, son of Zebedee, on Saint James’ Day (Santiago Apostol), which is on July 25. Saint James was one of Jesus’ first disciples. Some Christians believe that his remains are buried in Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
The article noted that July 25 is a public holiday in “Basque Country, Cantabria, and Galicia, where it’s a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.” (A side note: The “autonomous community” – or province – of Galicia, seen at right, is in northwestern Spain, and that’s where Santiago de Compostela lies, as the “provincial” capital.)
The article added that: 1) according to Christian tradition this James may have traveled to the area now Santiago; 2) this James was beheaded in Judea in 44 CE, but also that 3) his disciples carried his body by sea to Padrón, on the Galician coast. Then they buried his body “under what is now the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.”
Which is why it’s popular as a hiking-slash-pilgrimage route. On a related note, see On Mary of Magdala and James the Greater, Saints. Aside from noting – again – that this “July 25” James is the Patron Saint of Pilgrims, the post also cited 2016’s St. James, Steinbeck, and sluts:
The point being that I’ve gone on a few pilgrimages in my time, and am fixing to go on another one this September… And in the Sluts post, I noted that in the spiritual literature of Christianity, the concept of pilgrim and pilgrimage may refer to “the inner path of the spiritual aspirant from a state of wretchedness to a state of beatitude…”
Another side note: It’s better to hike the Camino – in Spain or Portugal – during a month like September, as we did in 2017 and will do again this year. It’s less hot and “touristy.”
See also “On to Jerusalem,” a post about last May’s pilgrimage to Israel:
[A] pilgrimage can be “one of the most chastening, but also one of the most liberating” of personal experiences. [Like] hour after hour of butt-numbing, back-aching canoe-paddling[, for days on end. Or during the 2017 Camino trip where] the chief ordeal was hour after hour of hiking, much of it across the dry and dusty Meseta of northern Spain. Which meant sore achy feet and blister upon blister… So the question for the upcoming trip to Jerusalem: “What part of the trip will help me ‘find a sense of my fragility as a mere human being?’” And “What part of the trip will be ‘most chastening, and also most liberating?’”
And which are some pretty good questions for my upcoming nine-hour flight to Lisbon, and from there to Porto, where three American pilgrims will hike north to Santiago…
So stay tuned! I’ll be posting “further bulletins as events warrant!”
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The upper image is courtesy of Portuguese Camino De Santiago – Image Results. The image is accompanied therein by a page “Camino de Santiago – Portuguese Way,” put up by “REI,” that is, Recreational Equipment, Inc. See also Camino Portugués – Camino de Santiago.
Re: On “St. James the Greater.” As noted in the main text, that post included some regrettable errors about which “James” was involved. On that note, and according to Wikipedia and other sources, “In the Episcopal Church of the U.S.A. and Lutheran Church, James, brother of Jesus and martyr is commemorated on October 23.” But again, the Feast Day for James the Greater is July 25.
On the “Santiago.” Iago is the Spanish form of the name “James,” itself a variation, a “a modern descendant of Iacobus, the Latin form of the Hebrew name Jacob. James is a popular name worldwide, but it is most commonly seen in English-speaking populations.” Other Spanish variations include “Yago” and “Diego.” Thus the town of “Saint Iago.” James (name) – Wikipedia.
Re: Miles from Porto to Santiago. Google Maps had three routes, with two going through Pontevedra, as we will. One of the two routes is 134 miles, the other 141.
Re: John Steinbeck and “sluts.” The “sluts” at issue were mentioned by Robert Louis Stevenson in his ground-breaking 1879 work Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes. It was considered a “pioneering classic of outdoor literature,” and it inspired Steinbeck‘s 1962 book, Travels with Charley.
The lower image is courtesy of James, son of Zebedee – Wikipedia, with the full caption, “Saint James the Elder by Rembrandt[.] He is depicted clothed as a pilgrim; note the scallop shell on his shoulder and his staff and pilgrim’s hat beside him.”