25th July. Feast of St. James

Spain's Camino de Santiago: How Long the Trip Takes

There are two apostles called James and this St. James came to be called St. James the Great. He is especially famous today for the Camino, the pilgrimage path in the north of Spain, that so many people walk today and which ends with his shrine at Santiago (St. James) of Compostella. James is one of the quieter apostles in many ways. He does not write or leave us anything. He is one of the foremost apostles, always included in the main three, Peter James and John. He is one of the first called by Jesus with his brother John, both the sons of Zebedee and nicknamed Boanerges, the sons of thunder, according to the gospel. He is a quiet fisherman (or with a nickname like that perhaps not so quiet) who we can imagine living a simple workingman’s life in Capharnaum until this is upended by Jesus, and he becomes the first apostle to be martyred in about 42 AD. Whatever his story, his shrine still gathers huge numbers of people, Christians and not, who are seeking something in their lives, vividly told in the film ‘Camino.’ If we are praying people we can ask for his intercession in our lives when we are seeking, for Spain which is going through a difficult time just now, and for those who face unemployment as a result of the lockdown, whose numbers may well increase in the near future.

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