St James the Apostle

James was one of the closest disciples of Jesus. Historical documents from the 7th and 8th century refer to the belief that James spent a number of years preaching in Spain before returning to Jerusalem.  It is said that his followers carried his body down to the coast and placed it in a stone boat, which was carried by the wind across the Mediterranean, through the straits of Gibraltar and round the Spanish coast to land at Padrón on the northwest Spanish coast.  Subsequently,the body was drawn inland and buried in a tomb, there to lay forgotten about for 800 years. 

It was not until the early 9th century that a local hermit rediscovered the tomb and with the help of a local bishop verified this was the burial site of St James the Apostle.  At this time, Spain happened to be in dire need of a new champion to inspire the Christian soldiers against the invading Moors.  And the first pilgrimages to the tomb of Santiago (Sant Iago = Saint James) began…

Churches in England and Wales dedicated to St James

The CSJ is compiling online information about churches of Saint James in the British Isles and about ports, routes and other pilgrimage/Saint James-related items. Please see Saint James in the British Isles for more information.

St James Novena

We are pleased to publish on this site an English translation of A Novena in Honour of St James the Apostle, by José Fernández Lago, a Canon of Santiago Cathedral, with an extended introduction by Sir Donn James Tilson.

A novena is a nine-day cycle of prayer, reading and reflection in preparation for a feast of the church.

Sir Donn’s Introduction covers the life and legend of St James, and includes a Bibliography.]


Confraternity of Saint James,
27 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8NY, United Kingdom.
Tel: (+44) (0)20 7928 9988
Company Limited by Guarantee, Registered no. 4096721 — UK Registered Charity no. 1091140
Founded in 1983 to promote the pilgrim routes to Santiago de Compostela

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