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THE PILGRIM TO COMPOSTELLA.
A ship of marble made. - p. 247.
The marble ship I have not found any where except in Geddes, who must have found it in some version of the legend which has not fallen into my hands. But that the ship was made of marble I believe to be quite as true as any other part of the legend of Santiago. . . Whether of marble or not, it was a miraculous ship which, without oars or sails, performed the voyage from Joppa to Iria Flava, now El Padron, in Galicia, in seven days.
Classical fables were still so passable when the Historia Compostelana was written, that the safe passage of this ship over the Syrtes, and between Scylla and Charybdis, is ascribed to the presiding hand of Providence. — España Sagrada, t. xx. p. 6.
How the body came to leave its head behind is a circumstance which has not been accounted for: and yet it requires explanation, because we are assured that Santiago took particular care not to part with his head, when it was cut off.
“ At the moment,” says the Annalist of Galicia, “ when the cruel executioner severed from its neck the precious head of
the sacred Apostle, the body miraculously raised its hands and caught it, and in that postare it continued till night. The astonished Jews attempted to separate it, but in vain ; for upon touching the venerable corpse their arms became cold, as if frozen, and they remained without the use of them.". Añales de Galicia, por El Doctor D. Francisco Xavier Manuel de la Huerta y Vega.
66 Cortada la cabeza no dio en tierra,
Que por virtud de Dios, el con las manos,
Christoval de Mesa: El Patron de España, ff. 62.
Perhaps his companions dropt it on their way to the coast, for the poet tells us they travelled in the dark, and in a hurry:
“ Cubiertos de la noche con el manto
Sin que ningun contrario los impida,
Llevan el cuerpo a la ciudad de Jope.” -Ib. ff. 65. But according to the Historia Compostelanu, (España Sagrada, t. xx. p. 6.) there is the testimony of Pope St. Leo, that the original head came with the body.
This is a small allowance, and must be understood with reference to the two most authentic ones in that part of the world, . . that at Braga, and one of the two at Compostella.
It is a common thing for Saints to be polycephalous; and Santiago is almost as great a pluralist in heads as St. John the Baptist has been made by the dealers in relics. There are some half dozen heads, and almost as many whole bodies ascribed to him, .. all in good odour, all having worked miracles, and all, beyond a doubt, equally authentic.
And how he used to fight the Moors.
- p. 248.
Most appropriately therefore, according to P. Sautel, was he called Boanerges.
“ Conspicitur media cataphractus in aere ductor,
Qui dedit in trepidam barbara castra fugam.
Annus Sacer Poeticus, vol. ii. p. 32. “ siendo acá en España nuestro amparo defensa en las guerras, mereció con razon este nombre : pues mas feroz que trueno ni rayo espantaba, confundia y desbarataba los grandes exercitos de los Moros.” — Morales, Coronica Gen. de España, 1. ix. c. vii. § 4.
“ Vitoria Espana, vitoriu,
que tienes en tu defensa,
mas no de nacion Francesa.
que parece que su fuerza
Ledesma, Conceptos Espirituales, p. 242. The Spanish Clergy had a powerful motive for propagating these fables; their Privilegio de los votos being one of the most gainful, as well as most impudent forgeries, that ever was committed.
“ The two sons of Zebedee manifested,” says Morales, “ their courage and great heart, and the faith which was strengthening in them, by their eagerness to revenge the injury done to their kinsman and master when the Samaritans would not receive him into their city. Then Santiago and St. John distinguished themselves from the other Apostles, by coming for
ward, and saying to our Saviour, “Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from Heaven and consume them?' It seems as if (according to the Castilian proverb concerning kinsmen) their blood boiled in them to kill and to destroy, because of the part which they had in his. But be not in such haste, O glorious Apostle Santiago, to shed the blood of others for Christ your cousin-german! It will not be long before you will give it to him, and for him will give all your
Let him first shed his for you, that, when yours shall be mingled with it by another new tie of spiritual relationship, and by a new friendship in martyrdom, it shall be more esteemed by him, and held in great account. Let the debt be well made out, that the payment may be the more due.
Let the benefit be completed, that you may make the recompense under greater obligation, and with more will. Then will it be worth more, and manifest more gratitude. Learn meantime from your Master, that love is not shown in killing and destroying the souls of others for the beloved, but in mortifying and offering your own to death. This, which is the height and perfection of love, your Master will teach you, and thenceforth you will not content yourself with anything less. And if you are desirous, for Christ's sake, to smite and slay his enemies, have patience awhile, fierce Saint ! ( Santo feroz.) There will come a time when you shall wage war for your Master, sword in hand, and in your person shall slaughter myriads and myriads of Moors, his wicked enemies !” — Coronica General de España, l. ix. c. vii. § 8.
An old hymn, which was formerly used in the service of his day, likens this Apostle to...a Lion's whelp!
“ Electus hic Apostolus,
Decorus et amabilis,
Vicit bella certaminis.” - Divi Tutelares, 229. “ Thirty-eight visible appearances,” says the Padre Maestr Fray Felipe de la Gandara, Chronicler General of the King
dom of Galicia, . . “ thirty-eight visible appearances, in as many different battles, aiding and favouring the Spaniards, are recounted by the very learned Don Miguel Erce Gimenez in his most erudite and laborious work upon the Preaching of Santiago in Spain; from which work the illustrissimus Doctor Don Antonio Calderon has collected them in his book upon the Excellencies of this Apostle. And I hold it for certain that his appearances have been many more ; and that in every victory, which the Spaniards have achieved over their enemies, this their Great Captain has been present with his favour and intercession.”- Armas i Triunfos del Reino de Galicia, p. 648.
The Chronista General proceeds to say that Galicia may be especially proud of its part in all these victories, the Saint having publicly prided himself upon his connection with that kingdom; for being asked in battle once, who and what he was, (being a stranger,) he replied, “ I am a Soldier, a Kinsman of the Eternal King, a Citizen and Inhabitant of Compostella, and my name is James.” For this fact the Chronicler assures us that a book of manuscript sermons, preached in Paris three centuries before his time by a Franciscan Friar, is sufficient authority: “es valiente autoridad !” — Armas i Triunfos del Reino de Galicia, p. 649.
« calamo describi vix potest, aut verbis exprimi, quanto in Jacobum Apostolum Hispani amore ferantur, quam tenero pietatis sensu festos illius dies et memoriam celebrent ; quam se suaque omnia illius fidei et clientela devoveant; ipsius auspiciis bellicas expeditiones suscipere, et conficere soliti, et Jacobi nomine quasi tesserâ se milites illius esse profiteri. Cum pugnam ineunt, ut sibi animos faciant et hostibus terrorem incutiant, in primâ, quæ vehementior esse solet, impresssione, illam vocem intonant, Sancte Jacobe, urge Hispania, hoc est, Santiago, cierra Hespanha; militari se illi sacramento addicunt; et illustrissimo Equitum Ordine Jacobi nomine instituto, ejusque numini sacro,