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James the Greater

The Apostle James (Santiago) the Greater, as he was called by christian tradition, was one of the sons of Zebedeo and Salome; his brother was John the evangelist, also Apostle. He was invited by Jesus "beside his brother and immediately after Peter and Andrew- to become fisherman of men". He was one of the apostles that had a close and intimate relationship with the son of God.

He accompanied him when he began the propagation of the word of God; he was present in the Mount of Olives when he predicted the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem, the complete ruin of the city and the catastrophes that will precede the end of times; and witnessed the last apparition of Jesus in Galilee after his resurrection. 

Murió, entre los años 41 y 44, decapitado por orden de Herodes Agripa I, cuando el rey de los judíos, en un intento postrero e inútil de conseguir la confianza de Roma, intensificó la persecución de las primeras comunidades cristianas.

He died young, at 41 or 44, beheaded by order of the King of the Jewish, Herodes Agripa I, when, in a frustrated attempt to win the confidence of Rome, intensified the persecution of the first communities of christians.

Las leyendas jacobeas recogen dos versiones acerca de la presencia del Apóstol Mártir en la península hispánica; la primera afirma que recorrió Asturias, Galicia, Castilla y Aragón predicando la palabra de Dios con escaso éxito.

According to tradition, after the death of Jesus, the apostles divided among them the places where they should predicate, and to James fell Spain and the occidental regions. Legend tells two versions about the presence of the Martyr in the Iberian Peninsula; the first says that he went through Asturias, Galice, Castile and Aragon, spreading the word of God unsuccessfully. 

During this mission the Virgin appeared before him by the Ebro river, above a column, and ordered him to build a church there. The second version assures that after his martyrdom, his disciples carried his body by boat from Jerusalem to Iria Flavia, in Finisterre. At this point , historic facts and legend merge to obtain a colourful story. Once beheaded, his body was thrown out of the city to feed dogs and beasts, but, when night fell, his disciples took it and carried it to the Port of Jope. Providentially, an empty fully-rigged boat appeared.

On the seventh day of navigation they arrived at the mouth of the Ulloa river, in Galice. As they put the body of their master on a heavy rock, the rock melted like wax and turned into a sarcophagus.