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commentary on Acts xii. 2,1 writes, "Universalis est immemorabilis, non tantum Hispaniæ, sed et fidelium ubique, traditio cui infragrari nemo potest." The tradition is, of course, impugned by all writers of the Gallican school. We shall mention De Tillemont, and only because he puts forth an explanatory suggestion which has since been adopted and developed by the German Benedictine Gams. In vol. i. p. 329, De Tillemont writes, "The body of St. James the Greater might have been transferred in the seventh or eighth century, on account of the Saracens being masters of the East, and carried to Galicia," and he elaborates this theory in his notes at the end of the volume. Of the earlier preaching of St. James, which he rejects, Gams says bluntly, "For this mission journey there is no evidence in antiquity." It is hardly necessary to continue our citations in this sense. We conclude with the words of a recent Spanish historian, whom none will suspect of heresy. Dr. M. Menendez y Pelayo, after considering all the authorities, sums up the matter thus: "It would be rash to deny the preaching of St. James, but neither is it very safe to affirm it. Since the sixteenth century the case has been on trial." 4
1566-1637, born at Bocholt, near Liege, was a Spanish subject in the Netherlands.
1 Commentaire sur l'Ecriture Sainte, 10 vols. fol., Anvers, 1681. This and the above passages I quote from España Sagrada, vol. iii. p. 39 seq.
Mémoires pour servir à l'Histoire Ecclésiastique des six premiers Siècles, 2nd edit. Vol. i. p. 329, 16 vols. (Paris, 1701). 3 Die Kirchengeschichte von Spanien, 5 vols. Vol. iii. p. 362 (Regensburg, 1862-1879).
Historia de los Heterodoxos Españoles, vol. i. p. 47. 3 vols. (Madrid, 1880).
It will be well now to state the earliest form of the legends, and the evidence on which they are founded. We must carefully distinguish the two traditions: one, which tells of the preaching of St. James in Spain, A.D. 40-41 ; the other, which relates the miraculous translation of his body after decapitation; and, thirdly, the theory of the transportation of his relics from Sinai to Saragossa, and thence to Compostella in the seventh or eighth century.
The earliest certain mention of the preaching of St. James in Spain is in the treatise De Ortu et Obitu Patrum, found among the works of Isidore, Bishop of Seville from 600-636, "Jacobus, filius Zebedæi, frater Joannis, quartus in nomine, duodecim tribubus quæ sunt in dispersione gentium scripsit, atque Hispaniæ et occidentalium locorum gentibus Evangelium prædicavit, et in occasu mundi lucem prædicationis infudit. Hic ab Herode tetracha gladio cæsus occubuit. Sepultus in Marmarica."1 Baronius, Cenni, De Tillemont and others dispute the authenticity of this passage. It would, however, be hardly more than a century later. Didymus of Alexandria,2 and St. Jerome,3 are sometimes cited in favour; but they state merely that one of the Apostles preached in Spain. The exact date of the hymn in the Mozarabic Missal is very doubtful, more especially as the
1 Migne, Patrologiæ, t. lxxxiii. p. 151. On Marmarica, cf. Saint Jacques en Galice, par l'Abbé L. Duchesne, Membre de l'Institut, pp. 15–18 (Toulouse, 1900).
2 Didymus, De Trinitate, lib. ii. c. 3.
3 Jerome, Comment. in Isaiam, xxxiv. 16, 17.
editors of Migne's Patrologia assert in a note to the earliest Kalendarium Gotho-Hispanum, 'Jacobi non satis constat quo die Gotho-Hispani hunc Apostolum coluerunt."1 Cenni asserts that the hymn "was not sung before the loss of Spain, since there is no feast to be found dedicated to this saint in the Isidorian Calendar." Gams, too, allows that in Gothic times there was only one feast, and that on the 29th of December. The story of St. James's preaching is mixed, too, with that of the apparition to him of the Blessed Virgin Mary, before her Assumption, on a pillar at Saragossa, where, at her command, he built the first Christian Church. Beside those mentioned, San Julian of Toledo,2 Bede, and St. Aldhelm of Canterbury, the real author of some verses formerly attributed to Walafrid Strabo, are the only authors who lived before the time of the Moorish invasion that mention the preaching of St. James in Spain. It will be observed, too, that not one of these knows anything of the translation of the body either to Compostella or to Spain.
The decree of the Congregation of Sacred Rites says nothing of this preaching. It is the tradition of the translation of the body which is there sanctioned. Nor is there any distinct assertion of the date of the alleged translation, though the words "quo delatum est ejus sacratissimum Corpus ab Hierosolymis postquam, Herode jubente,
1 Migne, Patrologiæ, t. lxxxv. p. 1053, note c. 2 But see Duchesne, op. cit. pp. 12, 13. 3 Recuerdos de un Viaje a Santiago de Galicia, por R. P. F. Fita y D. A. Fernandez-Guerra, p. 123 (Madrid, 1880).
gladio fuit percussum," and "sepulchrum per tot sæcula illustratum," may perhaps be understood to favour the earlier date.
As Mariana remarks, "neither in the remaining time of the Roman Empire, nor in the time in which the Goths were lords of Spain have we any notice of the sepulchre of Santiago." Absolutely
no mention appears of the story of the miraculous translation and burial of St. James at Compostella before the times of Theodomir, Bishop of Iria, of Alfonso the Chaste (791-843), and the Epistle of Pope Leo III. (793-816). About the year 772, apparently, the shepherds and others frequenting a hill called Ilicinus (since Mons Sacer, Monsagro) reported to Theodomir, Bishop of Iria, that a great light was seen issuing from a thicket which covered some ruins. The bishop went there, and in the substructions of the ruins found a vaulted chamber, in which were three marble sarcophagi, containing severally the bodies of St. James and his two disciples, Athanasius and Theodore. The bishop reported the discovery to King Alfonso, who gave the hill and the land for three miles round to the saint. The first official recognition of the Invention by the Church is in the Epistle of Pope Leo III., several copies of which are preserved, differing much in detail; the oldest of these copies seems to be traced back to an original which is said to have existed at the date of the 16th of
1 Historia General de España, por el padre Juan de Mariana, S.J., vol. i. 303, fol. (Valencia, 1794). ni en lo restante del imperio Romano, ni en el tiempo que los Godos fueron señores de España, se tenia noticia del sepulcro sagrado del Apostol Santiago," lib. vii. c. 10.
September, 1077. It is asserted in this epistle, one copy of which already recognizes the Feast of the Translation, "quæ III. Kalendas ianuarii celebratur," that after the martyrdom of the Apostle, his disciples took his body (v. l. bones, ossa) to Joppa, where they found a ship ready, in which they placed the body and came with a prosperous course to Iria. There they disembarked and took the body to an estate called "Liberum Donum," eight (v. . twelve) miles distant. There they found a large heathen temple with an idol, and in the temple iron implements, with which, when they had destroyed the idol, they wrought a subterranean chamber, and buried the body there. The rest of the disciples, variously given as seven or nine or twelve, dispersed; but Theodore and Athanasius remained to guard the body, and begged that when they died they should be buried at the side of the Apostle. In one MS. of the epistle, the destruction of the idol and temple is described metaphorically, "flatum draconis destruxerunt per meritum beati iacobi, et ejus instrumenta disruperunt in montem." The metaphor in later legends is translated into actual fact. In a charter of Bishop Sisnandus (A.D. 914),3 the figure is still preserved, speaking of Mount Ilicinus, "et ab omni spurcitia diaboli, et flatu pestiferi draconis purgatus ;" but in the Codex Calixtinus we read :
1 Recuerdos de un Viaje, p. 120.
2 We need hardly remark that the formation of these Christian Greek names is later than Apostolic times. 3 Recuerdos de un Viaje, p. 120.