CHAPTER 1

The History of the Camino de Santiago

IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE NINTH CENTURY, A SPANISH BISHOP NAMED Teodomiro decided to investigate reports of strange lights and sounds coming from a hill in the northwest of Spain. After climbing the hill, the bishop discovered a site with three tombs, and he declared one of them to be the remains of St. James (Santiago in Spanish), one of the twelve disciples of Jesus.1 According to the Camino legend, Jesus tasked his disciples with going out to different parts of the world and spreading their new faith. James went to Spain; he later returned to Judea and was killed by the local authorities. His associates put his body, by itself, in a boat in the Mediterranean Sea. The boat drifted to the coast ...

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