The Way of Santiago (St. James) was created spontaneously from the discovery in Santiago of the tomb of Santiago, who was one of the close friends of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who initiated the salvation of the Jews, and after the rest of humanity, from dominion and exploitation.
The corpse of Santiago – following his wishes in life – was brought from Jerusalem to Gallaecia and situated in the Sacred Peak. There are no written sources of the tomb until the sixth century, which is logical considering that Christianity was still weak in those lands. When the religion spreads, news of its tomb was important all over Europe, leading thousands of pilgrims to follow the star-marked routes of our galaxy, the Milky Way, to the west: to the Finis Terrae
The historical reality
At that time, the territory of Gallaecia was no longer part of the Roman Empire. The Romanized aristocracy had been replaced by the suevian one, arrived from the current Germanic countries, that «changed arms by plowshares», becoming one only people. In the year 411 Rome granted to the territory status of Kingdom federated. The first in Europe.
Galician society therefore had a remarkable cohesion and was able to resist the invasion and occupation of the Iberian Peninsula by the Muslims three centuries later, in the VII. That is because Santiago was converted into a symbol of the expansion of the northern Christian kingdoms, in its military advance to the south during the Middle Age.
The medieval kingdoms: «Hispania» and «Gallaecia»
Santiago had written in one of his canonical epistles that he wanted to be taken to what at that time was called «Hispania», and it was the Roman territory that covered all the Iberian Peninsula, where he propagated the doctrines of Jesus Christ. In Century III the name of Gallaecia was given to the territory Northwest. When the Muslim invasion occurred in the VIII, for several centuries, «Hispania» was denominated the Moorish region of the Peninsula. And «Gallaecia», the Christian North-West part. The importance given to the Tomb of Santiago in Gallaecia reinforced those Christian kingdoms, which were still culturally enriched by the arrival of visitors from the rest of Europe. During the twelfth century the powerful Burgundian dynasty had just erected in Santiago de Compostela the greatest temple in Europe, competing with Rome as center of Christianity.
The current states: Portugal and Spain.
It was in this twelfth century when the feudal lords of the southern county of Portugal achieved independence from Galicia-Leon. The Castilian lords later did same at the east, but with the difference that Castile adopted the dynasties, history and, of course, the myths of the ancient Christian kingdoms. With the formation of the State of Castile, later denominated «Spain» were confused civilizational human values and imperialist spirit, myths and historical truth.
The Way finally
Although imperialism used myths of the Christian religion as part of its narrative, such as the «Reconquista» and Santiago as the «Standard of Spain,» the re-establishment of religion, from the Second Vatican Council (1961) to the present pontificate, returned religion to the spiritual values that created Europe.
The Way of Saint James was declared by the European Parliament «First European Cultural Itinerary» (1987), and every year grows the number of pilgrims and people who love this beautiful wealth, World Heritage, and historical source of Western culture.