Editors Note: This is the 3rd installment of our summer series, Journey Moments. If you missed the earlier installments you can find the intro here, the first post on the Migrant Corridor here, and the second post on pilgrimage as a spirituality of seeking here.
It’s a special week for pilgrims, folks. This Wednesday the Catholic Church honors the saint who’s drawn hundreds of thousands of visitors over ten-plus centuries to his resting place in Spain. July 25th is the feast day of St. James the Greater, known in Spanish as Santiago.1 Without him, and for obvious reasons, there simply is no Camino de Santiago. So with this post, we wish Santiago and all his itinerant fans a happy feast day.
In our last interview, Kristy Calaway stated that one of the big pluses of walking the Camino de Santiago is that it allowed her to express the dynamism of her spiritual life in a way that was “embodied and physical.” This week’s pilgrim concurs. Native Chicagoan and theology grad student Sara Brabec tells us that the Camino illuminated an important part of her spiritual self that had yearned to walk it out since her college days. She admits that before taking to the Way of St. James, she wasn’t quite sure what to expect. A year later, and with the gift of hindsight, she takes a few minutes to share her discoveries with us.
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- Why “Greater?” Well, mostly because there were two men named James among Jesus’ twelve disciples. Some suppose Santiago came to be called “the Greater” because he was the elder of those two (which also may be why he’s sometimes called “St. James the Elder”). Others claim that he earned the moniker because he became a disciple of Jesus before his counterpart. Others say he was taller than the other James, but this hypothesis is often disputed by those under 5′ 6″. ↩