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My name is Guy de Vienne,
but when I became Pope I took the name Calixtus II. I I have always loved Saint James (called "Santiago" in the Spanish language) and when I became Pope, I did much to promote pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, where the relics of the saint are venerated.  I believe it is important to go to these holy places, because they bring us closer to the saints who followed the Lord, and as I have written in one of my books, "When the stories of the saints are told, the hearts of listeners are moved piously toward the sweetness and love of the heavenly realm."
 
No one who goes to Santiago de Compostela comes back the same.  There, Saint James works many miracles for those who are devoted to him.  Some of the miracles are astonishing, but most are quiet, even invisible.  But they are real.  I have collected many of them and written them down.  But, if I had written down all the miracles that I had heard about him, strength and parchment would have run out and hand would have worn out before the stories had run out!
 
Back in the year 1108, a French man went on pilgrimage to Santiago to pray that he might have a child.  When he got home again, his wife became pregnant and bore a son.  They named him James, and when he turned 15, the whole family went on pilgrimage to Santiago to say thank you to the great apostle.
 
Another miracle is well attested.  A bishop was on his way home from Jerusalem.  He was sitting on the edge of the boat and singing his prayers aloud when suddenly a strong wave surged up and swept him, along with several others, into the sea.  When they were floating away on the wave, they called in a loud voice to St. James, who was there for them immediately.  Standing on the waves of Thetis with the soles of his feet still dry, he said to those in danger and calling on him, "Do not fear, my little children."  When he reached home in safety, this venerable bishop of the Lord composed several songs in honor of Saint James.  One of the songs went like this:  "O help for all ages, O honor of the apostles, O bright light of the Galicians, O advocate of the pilgrims, James, lead us to the port of safety." 
 
I met several people who had seen James, in visions, and I asked them what the Apostle looked like.  One of them told me, "his face appeared decent, if you will, and elegant, and of such a type as none of them had occasion to see either before or after."  Another said, "Saint James appeared to me to be young with a handsome face, lean and of that moderate color that people call "brown.""
 
I invite all people to go on pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, to give honor to the great apostle, Saint James!  Because, as I said in a very long sermon on the Feast of St. James,

there is no one who can tell how many benefits the blessed apostle
has bestowed on those who seek him with a sincere heart.
Many poor people have gone there who, with God's grace,
afterwards were made happy,
many weak were made healthy,
many dissenters agreeable,
many perverse pious,
many lustful chaste,
many worldly later monks,
many misers generous,
many haughty gentle,
many deceitful truthful,
many dishonest just.
Behold, the city of Compostela,
 through the support of Blessed James,
has been made sacred for the faithful
and a help for those coming to it.

O great and blessed James, beloved of Christ, pray for us all with continual prayer!We believe in your prayers, we have called on you for help, and we know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.

 

Return to the Pilgrim Way of St. James page to continue exploring!

 

Return to St. James Cathedral Parish Website

804 Ninth Avenue
Seattle, Washington  98104
Phone 206.622.3559  Fax 206.622.5303