Today's feast celebrates St. James the brother of
St. John the Evangelist. Like St. Peter and his brother St. Andrew, Our Lord called Saints
James and John from their lives as fishermen to become fishers of men. We
believe that St. James had a lot of zeal because he along with his brother,
they were called the 'Sons of Thunder' (Mark 3:17.)As one of Jesus' closest three friends,
St. James witnessed the Transfiguration, the raising from the dead of Jairus'
daughter and the Agony in the Garden. St. James was the first of the twelve
apostles to be martyred under King Herod Agrippa.
It is believed that St. James had preached the gospel in
Samaria, Judea and
ultimately in .
Since the eighth century pilgrims have journeyed to Spain
to pray to St. James and seek his intercession. The Camino de Santiago or the Way of St. James is the path on which
pilgrims travel. The most common starting point is in the Pyrenees in Compostela, Spain .
Pilgrims walk, run or bike the Camino over many days and weeks. Some go to the
Camino for religious reasons, to seek a heavenly favor or draw closer to our
Lord. Others are tourists who make the Way simply to physically challenge
There are a lot of internet resources that tell more about the Camino and have the maps and pictures for us armchair travelers. In addition to being a virtual traveler, today we could make a journey to a Parish or Shrine that is in our diocese named for St. James. Pack a lunch, take the kids and park 1/2 a mile away from the church itself to get just a small feel for the walking pilgrimage.
Tonight watch the Emilio Estevez movie The Way. It stars Estevez and his real life father, Martin Sheen.