viernes, 20 de julio de 2012

The English version of The Book V (Codex Calixtinus)




Chapter I. Roads to Santiago.


'Quatuor viae sunt quae ad sanctum Jacobum tendentes, in unum, ad Pontem Regine , in oris Hispanise coadunantur.'

Four roads meet at Puente la Reina in Spain and become one route to Santiago.

One road goes through Saint-Gilles du Gard, Montpellier, Toulouse and the Somport Pass.1

The next is through St Mary of Le Puy, Saint Foy of Conques and St Peter of Moissac. 2

The third road is via St Mary Magdeline of Vezalay, St Leonard of Limousin and the town of Perigueux.3

The last is by St Martin of Tours, St Hilary of Poitiers, St John of Angely, St Eutropius of Saintes and the city of Bordeaux.4

These roads through St Foy, St Leonard and St Martin meet at Ostabat and cross the Pass of Cize.

At Puente la Reina they come together with the road over the Somport Pass, and continue as a single Camino de Santiago.5


_______________________________
1 The Arles Route through France
2 The Le Puy Route through France
3 The Vezalay Route through France
4 The Paris Route through France
5 The Camino Francés through Spain

Chapter II. The Stages of the Camino.


The Aragonese Camino (Somport Pass to Puente la Reina and on to Santiago)The Somport Pass to Puente la Reina has three short stages.
The first is from Borce, a village at the foot of the Somport Pass on the Gascon side, to Jaca.
The second is Jaca to Monreal, the third from Monreal to Puente la Reina.


The Navarrese Camino (Pass of Cize to Puente la Reina and on to Santiago)
From the Pass of Cize to Santiago there are thirteen stages.
The first short stage is from the village of St Michel at the foot of the Pass of Cize, on the Gascon side, to Viscarret.
The second is also short, from Viscarret to Pamplona.
The third is from the city of Pamplona to Estella.
The fourth is Estella to Najera, of course by horse.
The fifth, also on horseback, is Najara to the city called Burgos.
The sixth is Burgos to Frómista.
The seventh is Frómista to Sahagún.
The eighth is Sahagún to the city of León.
The ninth is León to Rabanal.
The tenth is from Rabanal over the pass at Foncebadon to Villafranca del Bierzo, at the mouth of the Valcarce.
The eleventh is Villafranca to Triacastela, over the pass of Monte Cebrero.
The twelfth is Triacastela to Palas de Rey.
The thirteenth is a short stage from Palas to Santiago.

Chapter III. The Towns on the Camino.

The Aragonese Camino (Somport Pass to Puente la Reina and on to Santiago)The towns on the Camino de Santiago from the Somport Pass to Puente la Reina are, Borce (at the foot of the mountains on the Gascon side), then after going over the summit of the mountain, the hostel at Santa Christina; then Canfranc, then Jaca, then Astorito, then Tiermas, with royal baths of hot water, then Monreal, then Puente la Reina.


The Navarrese Camino (Pass of Cize to Puente la Reina and on to Santiago)
The most important places on the Camino de Santiago from the Pass of Cize to the basilica in Galacia are, first, the village of Saint-Michel, on the Gascon side at the foot of the Pass of Cize, then, after crossing the summit of the mountain, one gets to know the Hospice of Roland, then the village of Roncesvalles.

Next one becomes familiar with Viscarret, then Larrosoana, then the city of Pamplona, then Puente la Reina, then Estella, full of good bread and the best wine and meat and fish, and plenty of all good things. From there is Los Arcos, Logrono, Villarroya, Najera city, St Domingo, Redecilla, Belorado, Vilafranca, Oca forest, Atapuerca, Burgos city, Tardajos, Hornillos del Camino, Castrojeriz, Puente de Itero and Fromista, then Carrion, fortunate with bread and wine and meat and all fertility. 

Next is Sahagun, flowing with delights, with the meadow where the gleaming spears of the victorious fighters, thrust in to praise God, once bloomed with leaves. Then is Mansilla and León, city of the king and court, surrounded by good fortune. Next, is Orbigo, then the city of Astorga, then Rabanel, which is known as 'The Prisoner', then the pass of Foncebadon, then Molinaseca, Ponferrada, Cacabelos and Villafranca del Bierza, at the cheek of the valley of Valcarce, then the Saracen Castle, then Villaus, the Pass of Monte Cebrero, with its hospice at the summit of the mountain, then Linareas de Rey and Triacastela, at the foot of the Galician mountain, where pilgrims take a stone and carry it with them to Castaneda to make lime for the building of the Apostle's church.

Then is the village of St Michael, Barbadelo, Puertomarin, Sala Regine, Palas de Rey, Leboreiro, Santiago de Boente, Castaneda, Villanova, Ferreiros, and finally Compostella, the most excellent city of the Apostle, complete with all delights, having in its care the valuable body of St James, on account of which it is recognised as the luckiest and noblest city in all Spain. 

I have described these towns and stages so that pilgrims setting out for Santiago, hearing this, can work out the expenses necessary for their journey.


Chapter IV. The Three Hostels of the World.


God has set up three supports for the world's poor: the hostels of Jerusalem, of Mont-Joux and of Santa Christa on the Somport Pass, all placed where they are most needed. They are holy places, houses of God where holy pilgrims can refresh, the destitute can relax, the sick can receive comfort, the dead can be prayed for, and the living given help.

Chapter V. People who repaired the road.


Here are the names of certain travellers who, in the time of Archbishop Diego of Santiago, and Emperor Alfonso of Spain and Galicia, and of Pope Calixtus, restored the road to Santiago from Rabanel to Portomarin, out of faithful love of God and the Apostle, since the year of Our Lord 1120, in the reign of Alfonso, King of Aragon, and Louis the Fat, King of the French: Andréas, Rotgerius, Alvitus, Fortus, Arnaldus, Stephanus, and Petrus, who rebuilt the bridge over the Mino destroyed by Queen Urraca. 
May the souls of these men and their assistants rest in peace.


Chapter VI. The Good and Bad Rivers on the Camino.


The Rivers
These are the rivers on the Camino de Santiago from Puerta de Ciza and from the Somport pass:

From Somport flows the healthy water of the River Aragon, which irrigates Spain. From Puerto de Ciza to Pamplona pours pure water known as the river Runa. Both the Runa and the river Arga run down to Puente la Reina.

The horses die at Rio Salada
At a place called Lorca, to the east, flows the river known as the Salt Stream.

Be careful not to drink it or water your horse there, because the river is lethal. On its banks, as we were going to Santiago, we found two Navarrese sitting there, sharpening their knives, waiting to skin the horses of pilgrims which die after drinking the water.

When we asked, they lied and said the water was safe to drink. So we watered our horses, and two died at once, which the men then skinned.

Estella to Logrono
At Estella runs the Ega, with sweet, safe and excellent water. Through the town of Los Arcos flows deadly water. Outside the town near the first hostel, after leaving the village but before coming to the hostel, is a river fatal to both horses and men who drink it.


At the town of Torres del Rio in Navarre flows a river deadly to horses and men, and at the village of Cuevas is a similar death-bringing stream. At Logrono there is a huge river called the Ebro which is healthy and which abounds in fish.

All the rivers between Estella and Logrono are lethal to men and horses, but their fish is approved to eat.

Perils of local food
In Spain and Galicia, don't eat the fish called a 'barbus', or the one the Poitevins call an 'alosa' and the Italians 'clipia', or any eel, or tench, because without doubt you will immediately die or fall very sick. If by luck anyone eats and doesn't get sick, they're healthier than most or have stayed longer in the country. For all fish, beef and pork in Spain and Galicia make foreigners ill.


Good Rivers in Castilla y Leon
The rivers which are sweet and safe to drink are locally named as the following: the Pisuerga, which flows at Puente de Itero; the Carrion; the Cea at Sahagun; the Esla at Mansilla de las Mulas; the Porma, at the big bridge between Mansilla and Leon; the Torio, which flows near Leon below the Jewish quarter; the Bernesga, which flows by the same city, but on the other side, towards Astorga; the Sil at Ponferrada in the Green Valley; the Cua that flows by Cacabelos; the Burbia at the bridge at Villafranca; the Valcarce that flows in the Valcarce valley; and the Mino, which flows by Portomarin.

Ablutions at Lavacolla 
There is a river in a wooded place two miles from Santiago called Lavacolla, in which French pilgrims, out of respect for the Apostle, wash not only their private parts but, stripping off their clothes, clean all the dirt from their bodies.

Rivers around Santiago
The river Sar, between Monte de Gozo and Santiago, is healthy, and the river Sarela, which flows from the other side of the city, to the west, is said to be safe.

I have described these rivers thus, so that pilgrims setting out for Santiago can learn to avoid the dangerous ones and choose those healthy for themselves and their animals.

Chapter VII. The lands and peoples along the Camino de Santiago.

Two routes
The Camino de Santiago route along the Toulouse road brings you across the Garonne River into Gascony, then over the Somport Pass into Aragon. From there you come into the province of Navarre, which stretches as far as Puente la Reina and beyond. 

Another route is over the Pass of Cize; you go from Tours to Poitou, which has the best countryside on the Camino. The Poitouians are brave warriors, experts with bows and arrows and spears who won’t take a backward step in battle. They’re athletic, good looking men who know how to dress well, to speak astutely, and to be generous and hospitable.

Bordeaux
From there you come to Saintonge, and on across a stretch of sea and the River Garonne into Bordeaux, famous for having the finest wine and fish in the world, but remember – the local dialect of French is not easy to understand, even more tricky than the version they speak back in Saintonge.

At this stage you’ll be tired, but must face into three more days walking across the ‘Landes’ – a desolate region without supplies of bread, wine, meat, fish, or water, even springs. Villages are rare, although there is honey, grain and wild boar. If you are crossing it in summer, protect your face from the huge flies that infest the place (insects which the locals call ‘guespe’ and ‘tavones’). And unless you watch your step, you’ll sink to your knees in the quicksand that is everywhere.

Gascony
When you’ve crossed this place, you come to Gascony, with its white bread and the best and reddest wine, and plenty of forests, streams, meadows and healthy fountains. And the people? Fast-talking, obnoxious, and sex-crazed, they are overfed, poorly-dressed drunks. They’ve two good characteristics: they are skilled warriors, and they give good hospitality to the poor.

They all sit around the fire rather than eating at a table, and drink from one cup. They eat and drink too much and dress in rags, then, unbelievably, the whole household sprawls out together on a little rotten straw.

Saint-Jean-de-Sorde
Leaving this country, if you’re on the road to Santiago, you should meet the village of Saint-Jean-de-Sorde. The village is near two rivers, one flowing to the right which the locals call ‘the brook’ and the other on the left which they call ‘the river’. You cannot cross either without a raft. The boatmen are trouble – big trouble. Despite the fact both streams are narrow, they’ll extort money for their services, whether you can afford it or not. If you have a horse, they’ll get angry and forcefully demand four coins. Be careful here. The boat is small, made from a singe tree, not suitable for horses, and you can easily end up in the water. The best option is to take the horse by the bridle and let it swim behind the boat. Whatever you do, don’t get into an overloaded boat, which can suddenly capsize. These boatmen have been known to collect the fares and pile the boat full of pilgrims, so that the boat capsizes and the pilgrims are drowned. Then the evil scoundrels delight in stealing the possessions of the dead.

The Basque Country
Around the Pass of Cize is the Basque country, with the city of Bayonne on the north coast. The language spoken here is incomprehensible. The terrain is woody and mountainous with a serious shortage of bread, wine and other food supplies, except for plenty of apples and cider and milk.

This region – near the Cize Pass and the towns of Ostabat and Saint-Jean and Saint-Michel-Pied-de-Port – has some truly vicious toll collectors. They come at pilgrims with weapons, and demand an exorbitant fee. If you refuse to pay, they’ll beat you up and take the money, even intrusively frisking you to get it. These people are forest savages. Their hard faces and strange language strike terror into the heart.

The rules allow them to charge merchants, and nobody else, but they seize money from pilgrims and anyone else passing through. Even with the commercial tax, when they’re supposed to charge four or six coins, they grab double.

Those involved in this racket must stop: the toll-gatherers themselves, but also the king of Aragon and other rich men, and their fellow conspirators, namely Raymond de Soule, Vivien d’Aigremont and the Vicomte do Saint-Michel, and the boatmen already mentioned and Armand de la Guigne and the other lords of the rivers, who receive money obtained by the ferrymen. Then there are the priests who know exactly what’s going on but who still give the Eucharist and confession, and pray for them and welcome them to church. Until these men publicly make good their crimes and start taking only fair tolls, they should be excommunicated in such a way that it’s heard not only in their local churches, but also in the basilica of Santiago itself, with the pilgrims listening.

And if any bishop decides to pardon them, either because he feels it’s his Christian duty or because he’s been paid off, he should be kicked out of the church.

It needs to be clear that the toll-gatherers cannot take money from pilgrims, and that the ferrymen can charge only one obal to take two men, provided the travellers can afford it. The charge for a horse needs to be simply one coin, and nothing whatsoever for a poor man. Finally, the boats need to be big enough to take both men and their horses.

Over the Pyrenees
The Basque Country has the highest mountain on the Camino. It's called the Pass of Cize and is both a gateway to Spain, and a commercial route where important goods are carried from one country to another. 

The mountain is eight miles up, and eight miles down the other side, and seems to touch the sky. Climb it and you'll feel you could push the sky with your hand. 

The view from the summit takes in the Sea of Brittany, the Atlantic Ocean, and three territories: Castille, Aragon and France.

The summit is called Charlemagne's Cross, because here Charlemagne, setting out with his armies for Spain, made a track with axes, picks and other digging tools. He first raised a cross and then knelt facing Galicia and poured out prayers to God and St James.

And so it's traditional for pilgrims to knell here facing St. James' homeland and to plant their own crosses. You might find a thousand crosses here, the first station of prayer on the Camino de Santiago.

On that mountain, before Spain was Christian, the pagan Navarrese and Basques would not only rob pilgrims to Santiago, but mount them like donkeys and then murder them.

Near the mountain, to the north, is the valley where it is said Charlemagne was a guest with his army after his soldiers had been killed at Roncevalles. This route is taken by many pilgrims who don't want to climb the mountain.

Coming down from the summit, you'll come to the hostel and church with the rock that the great hero Roland split with a triple stroke. Next up is the town of Roncevalles, where the battle took place in which King Marsile, Roland, Oliver and another 40,000 Christian and Saracen soldiers were killed.

Navarre
After this valley you come to the province of Navarre, which has plenty of bread, wine, milk and cattle. The Navarrese and the Basques have similar food, clothes and language, although the Basques have a fairer complexion. The Navarrese wear black outfits down as far as their knees, like the Scots. They tie untreated leather scrips around their feet, leaving bare everything except their soles. They have dark, elbow-length woollen cloaks, fringed like a traveller's cape, which they call 'sayas'. Their clothing is visibly shabby.

Navarrese eating and drinking habits are disgusting. The entire family - servant, master, maid, mistress - feed with their hands from one pot in which all the food is mixed together, and swill from one cup, like pigs or dogs. And when they speak, their language sounds so raw, it's like hearing a dog bark.

They call God 'Urcia’, the Mother of God 'Andrea Maria', bread 'orgui', wine 'ardum', meat 'aragui', fish 'araign', home 'echea', the head of household 'iaona', the mistress 'andrea', church 'elicera', priest 'belaterra' which means 'good earth', corn 'gari', water 'uric', the king 'ereguia', and St James 'Jaona domne Jacue'.

These are an undeveloped people, with different customs and characteristics than other races. They're malicious, dark, hostile-looking types, crooked, perverse, treacherous, corrupt and untrustworthy, obsessed with sex and booze, steeped in violence, wild, savage, condemned and rejected, sour, horrible, and squabbling. They are badness and nastiness personified, utterly lacking in any good qualities. They're as bad as the Getes and the Saracens, and they despise us French. If they could, a Basque or Navarrese would kill a Frenchman for a cent. 

In some places, like Vizcaya and Alava, when they get warmed up, the men and women show off their private parts to each other. The Navarrese also have sex with their farm animals. And it's said that they put a lock on the backsides of their mules and horses so that nobody except themselves can have at them. Moreover, they kiss lasciviously the vaginas of women and of mules.

Everybody with sense slams the Navarrese. However, they're good in war, although not so effective in a siege. They pay their church taxes and present their offerings to the altar; every day a Navarrese goes to church, he makes an offering to God of bread, wine, corn or something else suitable. 

Wherever a Navarrese or a Basque goes, he has a hunter’s horn around his neck, and carries two or three spears, which they call ‘auconas’. When he comes to his home he gives a whistle, like a bird. When they’re lying in ambush and want to call companions quietly, they hoot like an owl, or howl like a wolf. Tradition has it that they’re descended from the Scots, because they have such similar customs.

It is said that Julius Caesar brought three tribes to conquer the Spaniards who refused to pay him taxes: the Nubians, the Scots and men with tails from Cornwall. He ordered them to kill all the Spanish men, and to keep alive only the women.

The invaders came across the sea and, with their ships having been destroyed, devastated the country with sword and fire, from the city of Barcelona all the way to Saragossa, and from Bayonne to the mountains at Oca.

They didn’t get further because the Castilians united, defeated them in battle, and drove them back.

They fled and settled in the mountains at the coast which are between Najera and Pamplona and Bayonne, towards the sea in Biscay and Alava. They built many forts and killed all the local men. Then they raped the women and had children with them, who afterwards were called Navarrese. This comes from ‘non verus’ (not true), because the children didn’t come from a true family.

As well as that, the Navarrese may first have taken their name from the city of Naddaver in Ethiopia, where they originally came from. The apostle and gospel writer Matthew converted their city with his preaching.

Burgos
After Navarre, the Camino crosses the forest of Oca and continues through the Spanish territory of Castile and Campos towards Burgos. This country is full of royal treasure, of gold and silver, fabrics and the strongest horses, and flush with bread, wine, fish, milk and honey. It is however lacking in firewood and the people are evil and vicious.

Galicia
Next is Galicia, which you enter after crossing Leon and the mountains at Irago and Cebrero. Galicia is well-wooded, with rivers, meadows, and orchards, and the deepest clearest springs, but with few towns, farmsteads or wheat fields.

It is difficult to get wheat-bread and wine. However with plenty of rye bread and cider, livestock and work-horses, milk and honey and enormous seafish, there is little lacking. And there is gold and silver, fabrics and furs from the forests and other riches, as well as Saracen treasure.

The Galicians are more like us French people than other Spanish savages, but nevertheless they can be hot-tempered and litigious.

Chapter VIII. Saints' Tombs to be visited.


SAINTS ON THE ARLES ROUTE THROUGH FRANCE:
St Trophimus the Confessor
For those taking the St Giles route to Santiago, the first visit must be to the body of St Trophimus the Confessor at Arles, mentioned by St Paul in his Letter to Timothy. Paul made him bishop and he was the first to be sent to Arles to preach. As Pope Zozimus wrote, from this clearest of springs, the whole of France received rivers of faith. His feast day is the 29th December.

St Caesarius
Next is the tomb of St Caesarius, bishop and martyr, who in the same city established an order of nuns. His festival is the 1st November.

St Honoratus
In the cemetary at Arles pilgrims seek the help of the bishop St Honoratus, whose feast is the 16th January.

St Genesius
The body of the most holy martyr St Genesius lies in his magnificent and venerated church.
Near Arles, between two branches of the River Rhone, in the village of Trinquetaille, is an imposing marble column behind the church. There the faithless populace tied St Genesius before cutting his head off; to this day red bloodstains appear on it. As soon as he was decapitated, he took his head in his own hands and threw it into the Rhone, then floated his body up the middle of the river to the church of St Honoratus, where he lies in honour. His head, borne by the Rhone and the sea current, was brought by an angel to the city of Carthage in Spain, where it now rests in glory and works many miracles. His feast day is the 25th August.

Arles Cemetary

Next to be visited is the cemetery called 'les Alyscamps', near Arles. Custom decrees that you pray for the dead with prayers, psalms and gifts to charity. The cemetery is a mile long and a mile wide, and there is nothing like it for its numbers of marble tombs. They are carved in different styles, and engraved with Latin letters in an unintelligible, ancient language. The further you look, the more tombs you will see. 

In any of the cemetery's seven churches, if a priest says Mass for the dead, or if a layman has a priest devoutly celebrate, or if a clergyman reads the psalms, he will find, at the final resurrection, help among the pious dead to help him achieve salvation in God. For many bodies of martyred saints and confessors lie there, whose souls rejoice together in the seat of paradise. Their commemoration is customarily celebrated on the holiday after the Easter octave.


St Giles

Next, look carefully at the worthy body of St Giles, the holy confessor and abbot. St Giles, famous throughout the world, should be venerated, celebrated, held dear, invoked, and asked for favours by all. After the prophets and apostles, no saint is more worthy, more holy, more glorious, or quicker to help. More than the other saints, he comes quickly to help the poor and sick and anguished who call him. O what a beautiful and precious thing it is to visit his tomb! Pray to him with all your heart, and that day you will be happy. I myself have proof of what I say. For I saw a man in this town, who had invoked the saint one day, escape by the intercession of the blessed confessor from the dilapidated house of a shoemaker named Peyrot, which collapsed afterwards. Who therefore will see most fully his home? Who will adore God in his sacred basilica? Who will most embrace his tomb? Who will kiss his venerated altar? Who will tell of his most holy life? For a sick man puts on his tunic, and is healed. Through his endless virtue, a man bitten by a snake is healed; another possessed by a demon is liberated; a storm at sea ceases; the daughter of Theocrite is restored after a long illness; a man sick in his entire body is restored to longed-for wellness; a deer, previously indominitible, is tamed to serve him; an order of monks grows with him as abbot protector; a possessed man is liberated from his demons; a sin of Charlemagne, revealed to him by an angel, is forgiven; a dead man is restored to life, and a violated man to his former health; and more, two cypresswood offerings of the bishops carved with images of the apostles arrive from Rome to a port on the Rhone, through the waves and the seas, without anyone steering but solely by his mighty power.

It disgusts me to die because I cannot tell all the things he did that should be venerated, they are so many and so great. This magnificent Greek star, lighting up the people of Provence with his rays, lay among them not declining but growing greater, not losing his light by death but giving it to everybody, redoubled, not descending into the abyss but rising to the summit of Olympus. His setting light did not become dark but, in his heavenly fame, became brighter than all the other saints throughout the four quarters of the world.

It was in the middle of the night, the first Sunday of September, when this star lay down, called to a throne by a choir of angels, and the Gothic people along with an order of monks gave him an honoured tomb in their free territory, that is, between the city of Nimes and the Rhone.


A large golden casket behind his alter, over his venerable body, is sculpted on the left hand side on the first step with the images of six apostles, and in primacy on the same step a matching image of St. Mary. Higher up on the second step are the signs of the zodiac in this order: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. Through them are golden flowers like a vine. On the third and highest step are the images of twelve of the twenty-four elders, with these verses written above their heads:

Behold the splendid chorus of twice-twelve elders,
Who sing sweet songs on their clear lyres.
On the right hand side, on the first level, there are similarly seven other images, of which six are apostles and the seventh is any disciple of Christ that one pleases. Above the heads of the apostles on both sides of the casket are sculpted the images of the virtues that reside in them, in the form of women: goodness, gentleness, faith, hope and charity and so on. On the second level on the right are flowers in the form of a vine. On the third, highest level, as on the left-hand side, are the images of twelve of the twenty-four elders, with these verses written above their heads:


This extraordinary urn, finished with jewels and gold, 
Contains the relics of St. Giles.
Whoever breaks it, the Lord will condemn, 
Along with Giles and the heavenly host.
The roof and both sides of the urn are carved in fish scales. Inlaid at its top are thirteen crystal stones, some in chessboard pattern, others like apples or pomegranates. One crystal is a huge fish, a trout, erect, with tail turned upwards. 

The first crystal forms a huge bowl; above it is placed a precious golden cross. In the middle of the front of the urn, the Lord resides in a circle of gold, blessing with his right hand and in his left holding a book, on which is written, 'Choose peace and truth'. Under his footstool is a golden star, and at his outstretched arms are two letters, Α and Ω. Above his throne two precious stones glitter in an indescribable way.

Next to the throne, on the outside, are the four evangelists, with wings, with scrolls at their feet in which the beginning of their respective gospels are written. Matthew, to the right and above, appears as a man; Luke is below as an ox, John, left and above, is an eagle, and underneath Mark is a lion. 

Next to God's throne you can see two angels, a Cherub on the right with his feet above Luke, and and Seraph on the left, feet above Mark, both finely sculpted.

Also finely worked are two sets of precious stones of all kinds, one around the Lord's throne, the other around the rim of the urn. Three jewels are places together to represent the Trinity.

Someone famous for loving the blessed confessor has set with golden nails in the urn, towards the altar, his image in gold, which to this day appears there for the glory of God.

On the other side of the casket, the back, the ascension of the Lord is carved. 

In the first place are six apostles, faces upwards, looking at God as he ascends to heaven. Above their heads is written: 'Men of Galilee! This Jesus, who was assumed into heaven from you. He will come back, as you have seen.'

On the second level the other six apostles are sculpted, standing in the same way, but here there are golden columns between the apostles and the other parts.

On the third level God stands straight on a golden throne, with two angels, one on his right, the other on his left, their hands pointing out the Lord to his apostles, one hand pointing upwards, the other downwards. Above God's head beyond the throne is a dove, carved as if flying above him.

On the fourth and highest level is God on another golden throne, with four apostles beside him, Luke as an ox southwards and below, and Matthew above as a man. On the other side to the north and below is Mark as a lion, and above, John as an eagle. 

It is important to note that the Divine Majesty on the throne is not seated, but stands straight with his back to the south and his head raised as if looking to heaven. His right hand is raised and he holds a cross in his left, and thus he ascends to his Father who awaits him at the top of the casket.

And so stands the tomb of Blessed Giles the Confessor, in which his venerated body lies in honour. The Hungarians who say they have his body should blush; the monks of Chamalieres who dream they have his whole corpse should be bankrupted; those men of Saint-Seine who claim to have his head, should melt away; likewise the Normans of Coutances who glory in having his body should be struck by awe, for it has been tested by many that at no time his sacred bones could be removed from his own region. 

Certain men once tried to take away a venerable arm of the Blessed Confessor from his homeland to distant shores, but were utterly unable to take it with them.

There are four holy bodies which many witnesses attest are not possible to remove from their own sarcophagi: St James, son of Zebedee; St Martin of Tours; St Leonard of Limousin; and St Giles the Confessor. Tradition has it that Philip, King of France, once attempted to take these bodies to France, but nothing could move them from their own tombs.


St. WilliamIf you go to Santiago on the Toulouse road, you should visit the body of the Blessed Confessor William. The most saintly William was a standard-bearer and an eminent companion of Charlemagne, a brave soldier skilled in war. 

Through his strength of character he brought to Christian rule the cities of Nimes, Orange and many others, and carried the cross of God into the Gellone valley, where he lead the life of a hermit, and after a blessed death, Christ's confessor rests there honourably. His feast day is the 28th May.

Tiberius, Modestus and Florence

On the same road one must visit the bodies of the blessed martyrs Tiberius, Modestus and Florence, who in the time of Diocletian were tortured terribly and were martyred for their faith in Christ. They lie on the river Herault in the finest tomb. Their feast day is celebrated on 10th November.

St. Saturninus

On the same route the worthy remains of Blessed Saturninus, bishop and martyr, is to be visited. The pagans stretched him out on the capitol in the city of Toulouse, lashed him to violent, untamed bulls, then dragged him for a mile from the top of the citadel down all the stone steps. His head crushed and his brains struck out and his whole body torn to pieces, he gave back his worthy soul to Christ.

His is buried in a prime location beside the city of Toulouse where a huge basilica was built by the faithful to honour him, where the Rule of St Augustine is observed, and many good things are given by the Lord to those who ask.



SAINTS ON THE LE PUY ROUTE THROUGH FRANCE:



St FoyLikewise the Burgundians and the Teutons who are going to Santiago on the Le Puy route should visit the sainted remains of St Foy, virgin and martyr, whose most holy soul, after she was beheaded by the executioners on the mountain of the city of Agen, was taken to heaven in the form of a dove by angels, and the victory laurels of immortality distinguished it. 

When St Caprasius, high priest of the city of Agen, who was hiding in a grotto to avoid the frenzy of persecution, saw this, he was given the spirit to endure his passion, and hurried to the place where the blessed virgin suffered, and having earned the victory of martyrdom through his striving, even condemned his persecutors for delaying. 

At last the precious body of St Foy, virgin and martyr, was buried with honour by Christians in a valley commonly known as Conques. The Christians built a magnificent basilica above the tomb in which for God's glory the rule of St Benedict is carefully kept to this day. 

Many blessings are given to both healthy and sick; in front of the doors is a superb fountain, more extraordinary than it is right to tell. Her feast is on the 6th October. 



SAINTS ON THE VEZELAY ROUTE THROUGH FRANCE:


St. Mary Magdalene

Then in the Camino de Santiago through Saint-Leonard, first the worthy body of St Mary Magdalene must justly be venerated by pilgrims. 

For this is the famous Mary, who in Simon the Leper's house, watered the feet of the Savour with her tears, cleaned them with her hair, and anointed them with expensive ointment while kissing them attentively. 

On this account her sins were forgiven because she held dear he who loves the universe, Jesus Christ her redeemer. 

After the Ascension of the Lord from Jerusalem she, with Blessed Maximinus the disciple, went with other disciples by sea to Province, and arrived at the port of Marseille. For some years she led a celibate life there before being buried in the city of Aix by the same Maximinus, bishop of Aix. 

After many years her precious consecrated grave was moved from this city to Vezeley by a heroic man named Badilon, who had a blessed life. There it rests in an honourable tomb to this day, where a huge and beautiful cathedral and an abbey of monks was set up.

Through her love, the faults of sinners are forgiven by God, the blind are given sight; the tongue of the mute is released; the lame are raised up; the possessed are liberated and uncountable graces are given. Her solemn feast is celebrated on 22nd July.

St Leonard

Equally one must visit the sacred body of St Leonard, confessor, who was born into the most noble French family and was brought up in the royal court. He renounced the wicked world for the love of the Supreme Will, and led in Limousin, in the place commonly called Noblat, a celibate life with frequent fasts, vigils, cold, nudity, and unspeakable labours.

Finally in his own free area he died, a holy passing; his sacred grave is regarded as being unmovable. 

Therefore the monks at Corbigny should blush for saying they have the body of St Leonard, when they don’t even have either the smallest of his bones, or his ashes; as previously pointed out, they cannot be moved. The people of Corbigny, and many others, are enriched by his gifts and miracles, but are deceived about the presence of his body.

Since they were not able to have his remains, they worship the body of a man named Leotard in place of St Leonard of Lemognes, which is said to have been brought to them lying in a silver casket.

They even changed his name after death, as if he could be baptised again, and imposed the name of St Leonard, in the opinion that with so famous a name as St Leonard of Lemognes, pilgrims would go there to enrich them with their offerings. 

His feast is on the 15th October.

First they made St Leonard of Limousin the patron of their basilica, then they put another man in his place, like jealous slaves who take their master’s inheritance by force and grant it shamefully to his enemy. 

They’re like a wicked father who snatches his daughter from her legitimate bridegroom and gives her to another. 

They have changed his glory, says the psalmist, to the similitude of an ox. A wise man rebukes such behaviour, saying, ‘Give not your honour away to strangers‘.

Pilgrims both foreign and local come here to find the body of St Leonard, whom they revere, and don’t recognise that it is another in his place. Whoever performs the miracles at Corbigny, it is St Leonard of Limousin who frees and leads captives there, however alienated he may be from the patronage of their church.

The people of Corbigny are in double fault because they don’t recognise the one who enriches them by his miracles, nor do they celebrate his feast, but illicitly worship another in his place.

Now, divine mercy has spread the fame of St Leonard the Confessor of Limousin throughout the length and breath of the world; of how his powerful goodness led countless thousands of captives from prison. Their savage iron chains, more than one can describe, join together in their thousands, around and around his cathedral, to the right and the left, inside and outside, hanging testimony to all his miracles.

It is beyond saying, how you would marvel if you could see the wooden racks weighed down with so many and such great barbarous irons. For hanging there are metal handcuffs, neck yokes, chains, shackles, fetters, crowbars, yokes, helmets, sickles, and so on, from which the most powerful Confessor of Christ has liberated his captives through his powerful goodness.

Astonishingly, he used to appear in visibly human form to captives in chain gangs across the seas, as they themselves have testified who were liberated through the power of God.

Through him once was beautifully fulfilled what the diving fate had prophesised, saying: 


He has liberated those sitting in darkness and shadow of death and chained in beggary and irons, 
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses,
He brought them out of the path of iniquity,
For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder,
He hath liberated those in bindings and many nobles in iron manacles.

Often Christians were passed in chains into the hands of the pagans, like Bohemond, and were enslaved by those who hated them, and their enemies demanded payment, and humiliated them, but this man often liberated them. And he led them from the darkness and the shadow of death, and shattered their chains. He said to those in fetters, ‘Go forth to be revealed to those in darkness’.

His sacred feast is on the 6th November.

St Fronto

After St Leonard, you must visit the remains of St Fronto, bishop and confessor, at the city of Perigueux. Ordained by the Apostle Peter in Rome, he was sent with a priest named George to preach in the city.

They set out together, but George died on the journey and was buried. Fronto returned to the blessed Apostle and announced the death of his companion. St Peter handed him his own staff, saying, 'When you put this staff on the body of your companion, say: "Though obedience to that which you accepted from the Apostle, in Christ’s name rise and do it."'

And so it was done. On the journeyBlessed Fronto recovered his companion from death, using the staff of the Apostle, and converted the aforementioned city, through his preaching, to Christ. He went all over with many miracles, and died with dignity there, buried in the basilica built in his name and in which, through the munificence of God, many benefits are given to those who ask.

Some traditions say he was a disciple of the brotherhood of Christ. His tomb is not like that of other saints; it is made with the greatest devotion as a rotunda, like the tomb of the Lord, and is more beautifully worked than all the tombs of other saints. His holy day is the 25th October.


SAINTS ON THE PARIS ROUTE THROUGH FRANCE:


St Evortius

Returning again to those who do the Camino de Santiago via the Tours road, in the city of Orleans you must visit the True Cross, and the chalice of St Evortus, bishop and confessor, in the church of St Croix.

One day when the St Evortus was celebrating Mass, above the alter appeared the right hand of the Lord, in human form, and everyone there could see it. Everything the bishop did at the alter, it did the same. When the bishop made the sign of the cross above the bread and the chalice, it did likewise. When he was raising up the bread and chalice, the hand of God also raised the true bread and chalice. When the sacrifice had been made, the saving hand disappeared. From this I understand that whoever is singing Mass, it is Christ himself who sings.


Hence St Fulgetius the Doctor says, ‘It is not man who makes the Body and Blood of Christ, but he who was crucified for us, Christ.’ And St Isodore says: ’It is not done better on account of a a good priest, nor worse because of a bad priest.’ 

That chalice is always presented, by custom, to the faithful who ask for it at communion in the church of St Croix, be they locals or foreigners.

Following on in the same city, one must visit the remains of St Evortus, bishop and confessor. Likewise in that city, one visits the church of St Samson, which has the knife used at the Last Supper.

St Martin

On this Camino one must also visit, on the Loire, the remains of St Martin, bishop and confessor. He is regarded as the celebrated man who brought three dead people back to life, and to have restored longed-for health to lepers, possessed, lunatics, demoniacs, and others who were sick. 

His tomb which lies in the sacred soil beside the city of Tours, gleaming with immensities of silver and gold and precious stones, and shining with frequent miracles.


Over it is a huge basilica under his patronage, built like the church of Santiago. To it come the sick, and are healed; the possessed, and are freed; the blind, and can see; the lame, and can walk; all kinds of sickness are cured, and to everybody who asks with worthiness, is given the deepest solace. His fame and glory spread everywhere to the glory of Christ.

His feast is celebrated on 11th November.

St Hilary

Next, in the city of Poitiers, one must visit the holy relics of Hilary, bishop and confessor. Here amongst other miracles, filled with the strength of God, he defeated the Arian heresy and taught the faithful to worship as one; Arrius the Heretic did not have the support of the sacred document issued by the Council, and himself died loathsomely when his paunch burst open in the toilet.

When Hilary wished to sit during the Council, the ground under him rose to present a seat; his voice broke open the barred doors of the Council; exiled for his Catholic faith to Phrygia for four years, he put to flight many snakes with his power; he gave back to a weeping mother her child that had died unbaptised. 

The tomb in which his sacred bones rest is decorated with great gold and silver and precious stones. His church, great and beautiful, is revered for its numerous miracles. His feast day is 13th January.

St John the Baptist
You must also visit the revered head of St John the Baptist, which was brought by devout men all the way from Jerusalem to the place called Angely in the land of Poitou. There a huge cathedral was built to him, a wonderful work, in which the most sacred head is venerated night and day by a choir of one hundred monks, and made famous by numberless miracles. While the head was being transported it gave off many signs both on sea and on land. On the sea it put to flight many maritime dangers, and on land, according to the record of its journey, dead men were brought back to life.

Because of this, it is believed to be the true head of the venerated Forerunner.

It was found on 24th February in the time of Emperor Marcian, when the Forerunner himself first revealed to two monks the place where his concealed head was thrown.


St Eutropius

On the Camino de Santiago, in the city of Saintes, the body of St Eutropius, bishop and martyr, must be visited with due dignity. His companion St Denis, bishop of Paris, wrote of his blessed martyrdom in Greek and sent it through Pope St Clement to his parents in Greece, who already believed in Christ.



I discovered the Passion in a Greek school in Constantinople, in a book containing many passions of holy martyrs, and for the glory of Our Lord Jesus Christ and his glorious martyr Eutropius, I have translated it into Latin, as best as I was able. 

It begins thus: 
Dionysius, bishop of the Francs, of Greek lineage, to the most reverend Pope Clement, greetings in Christ. We inform you that Eutropius, whom you twice sent with me to these shores to preach the name of Christ, has received the crown of martyrdom from the hands of the gentiles at the town of Saintes, for the faith of the Lord. 

Therefore I humbly ask your holiness to send this book of his Passion as quickly as you can, without delay, to my relatives and faithful friends in Greece, especially in Athens, so that they and others, who, with me, accepted the bath of new regeneration from the Apostle Paul, when they hear the glorious martyr endured a cruel death for his faith in Christ, may rejoice to have themselves suffered tribulations and agonies for Christ's name; and if by fortune the fury of the gentiles brings a martyrdom on them, they learn to accept it patiently for Christ, and fear it not in any manner. For those who want to live in Christ must suffer opprobrium from the unholy and those different to them, and look down on them as insane and stupid, since it is necessary that we enter the kingdom of God through many tribulations.


Far from you in body,
And close to you in prayers and in spirit,
Now I bid you farewell,
That for you may be forever.


The beginning of the Passion of St Eutropius, most holy bishop and martyr 
Eutropius, most glorious martyr of Christ, charming bishop of Saintes, born to a pagan house of Persia, stepped forth from the most distinguished family in the whole world: the ruler of Babylon, named Xerxes, beget him of Queen Guiva, as men do. No man could be of more noble birth than he, nor, after his conversion, more humble in faith and works. 
In his boyhood he was taught Chaldean and Greek letters, and he equalled the greatest heroes in the whole realm in intelligence and curiosity. Either wanting to find out if perhaps in his court there were people more inquisitive than he, or else to explore something foreign, he went to King Herod in Galilee. 
When he had stayed some days in Herod's court, he heard the news around the city of the miracles of the Saviour, and searched for him in the country, following He whom had gone away across the sea of Galilee, which is Tiberius, with a great crowd of people who were following Him seeing the miracles that He was doing. 
By divine grace, he arrived the day the Saviour with His boundless generosity fed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fishes. 
Seeing this miracle, and hearing stories of other miracles, young Eutropius believed a little in him, and wanted to talk to him, but didn’t dare, because he dreaded the different opinion of Nicanoris, his tutor, into whose care his respected father had handed him.
Satisfied, however, by the bread of divine grace, he continued to Jerusalem, and when he had worshipped the Creator in the temple according to the custom of the gentiles, returned to the house of his father.

And Eutropius began to tell him about everything he had seen. ‘I saw’, he said, ‘A man called Christ, like whom nothing else in the world can be found. He gives life to the dead, cleansing to lepers, sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, restoration to the lame, and health to all kinds of sicknesses.
'What more? He satisfied 5000 men with five loaves and two fish, with me watching. His followers filled twelve baskets with the leftovers. The famines, storms and deaths typical in such places have no place there. If now the creator of heaven and earth considered it worthy to send Him to our country, how I wish your grace would give Him honour!'
And the Emir, hearing this and more from the boy, quietly and carefully thought how he might see Him. 
After a short time, having just got permission from the king, the boy went back to Jerusalem wanting to see the Lord again, and to worship in the Temple. With him went Warradac, the army commander, and Nicanor, the king’s servant and the tutor of the boy, and many other nobles whom the duke had trusted to guard them. 
One day when he was returning from the Temple, and the Lord was coming back from Bethany where he had raised Lazasus, Eutropius met a huge crowd flocking together from all directions between the gates of Jerusalem. Seeing the Hebrew boys and other phalanxes of people meeting Him, laying out branches of olives and palms and other trees and flowers on the His road, and singing ‘Hosanna to the son of David’, he rejoiced more than it is possible to say, and eagerly spread flowers before Him.
Then he learned from people that He had raised Lazarus, who had been dead four days, and rejoiced more. But then as he could not see the Saviour fully because of the surrounding crowds, he began to feel sad. Indeed he was of those about whom John testified in his Gospel, saying: 
And there were certain gentiles among them that came up to worship at the feast day. These came to Philip, who was in the city Bethsaida of Galilee, and said to him, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip, the companion of Andrew, told the Lord. 
And at once, St Eutropius with his companions saw Him openly, and secretly began to believe in Him. In time he developed a deep companionship with Him, but dreaded the opinion of his escorts, whom his father had ordered to care for him strictly and to being him back home. Then he learned from people that the Jews were about to kill the Saviour, and refusing to watch the death of so great a man, the following day he left Jerusalem. 
And so Eutropius returned to his father, and related to everyone in his own country what he had seen of the Saviour in Jerusalem. Then after staying a while in Babylon, and wanting to adhere utterly to the Saviour, and believing Him still physically alive, unknown to his father he returned again forty-five days later to Jerusalem with a squire. Soon he heard the Lord whom he had secretly held dear had been crucified and killed by the Jews, and grieved greatly. 
When Eutropius learned He had risen from the dead, and appeared to his Disciples, and ascended into heaven in triumph, he rejoiced greatly. At last, on the day of Pentecost, he joined with the disciples of the Lord, and eagerly learned from them how the Holy Spirit as tongues of fire had descended upon them, filled their hearts and taught them every kind of language. 
Filled with the Holy Spirit Eutropius returned to Babylon, found the Jews in that land and, burning with zeal for the love of Christ, killed them with a sword because of those who had condemned the Lord in Jerusalem. 
Then after time had passed, and the Disciples of the Lord had gone to different parts of the world, two golden candlesticks, shining with faith by divine grace, that is, Simon and Thaddeus, Apostles of the Lord, were sent to Persia. 
When they entered Babylon, they ejected the mages Zaroen and Arfaxat who had been turning away the people from the faith with empty words and signs. Dispensing to everybody the seed of eternal life, the Apostles began to shake with all kinds of miracles. 
Then the sainted boy Eutropius, rejoicing at their arrival, persuaded the king to abandon the errors of the pagans and their idols, and to adopt the Christian faith, through which he would be worthy of reaching the kingdom of heaven.
What more? Immediately the Apostles preached, the king and his son with many other Babylonian citizens were reborn by baptism at the hands of those very Apostles. Finally when the whole city was converted to the Lord’s faith, the Apostles set up a church with a full hierarchy, and they ordained Abdias, a man of great faith imbued with the teaching of the gospels whom they had brought with them from Jerusalem, with Eutropius as archdeacon, and they went to other cities to preach the word of God. 
And when not many days afterwards in another place they finished their present lives through the triumph of martyrdom, St Eutropius committed their passion to writing, in Chaldean and Greek letters. 
And hearing the fame of the miracles and virtues of St Peter, Prince of the Apostles, who now discharged his duties in Rome, Eutropius renounced worldly things and with the consent of the bishop, and the ignorance of his father, he went to Rome. 

He was well received there by St Peter who imbued him with the teachings of the Lord, and having stayed some time with him, was ordered and advised by him to undertake preaching in Gaul, with other brothers. 
When they entered the city called Saintes, he saw that from all sides it was well surrounded with ancient walls and high towers, situated in the best place, equally broad and long, with all good things and a profusion of foods, the best meadows, clear springs, protected by a huge river, with gardens and orchards and vineyards all around the city, with healthy air, open spaces and streets, charming in many ways.
This good disciple began to think whether God would think it worthy to convert that beautiful and distinguished city from the errors of pagans and the culture of idols, to be submitted to Christian laws.
And so, going through the streets broad and narrow, he insistently preached the word of God. 

As soon as the citizens found out he was a foreigner and heard him preach the word about the Holy Trinity and baptism, which they had not heard before, they threw him out of the city, burning him with torches and beating him with great sticks. 
He bore this persecution patiently, and built a wooden shack on a mountain near the city, where he stayed for a long time. He preached by day in the city, and spent the night in the hut, in vigils, in prayer and in tears. 

When after a long time he had been able by his preaching to convert only a few to Christ, he recalled the precept of the Lord: 
‘Whoever does not receive you, or listen to your words, leave the doors of the house or the city, and shake the dust from your feet’. 
At that he went to Rome again, where St Peter had by now been crucified, and was admonished by St Clement, now pope, to return to the city and to preach the doctrines of the Lord and await his martyrdom there. 
Finally ordained bishop by this Pope, along with St Denis, who had come to Rome from Greece, as well as other brothers directed by Clement to preach in Gaul, he reached as far as Auxerre. There, parting with embraces of divine goodwill and tearful good wishes, Denis with his companions went to the city of Paris, and St Eutropius went back to Saintes. Bravely spirited to endure martyrdom, and filled with the zeal of Christ, he strengthened himself, saying, 
The Lord is my helper, I will not fear what man will do to me; 
If persecutors kill the body, they cannot kill the soul; 
Man must give all his being, hide for a hide, for his soul. 
Then resolutely enter the city, like a man in love, he preached the faith of the Lord, at times that were convenient, and times that were not, showing everyone the incarnation, passion, resurrection, ascension of Christ and everything else He allowed himself to suffer for the good of humanity. And he openly preached that no one could enter the kingdom of God, if not reborn from water and the Holy Spirit. 
As before, he stayed at night in the shack. 
By that preaching, with diving grace coming down from above, many gentiles in the city were baptised, among whom was a daughter of the king of the city, called Eustella, who was regenerated by the spring of baptism. When he father learned thus, he detested her and banished her from the city.
She, seeing herself banished for the love of Christ, began to live near the hut of the holy man. However her father, stung by the love of his daughter, often sent messengers to her asking her to return home. She answered that she would rather live outside the city for Christ, than return to the city to be contaminated with idols.
Then her father, moved by anger, called the murderers of the whole city to him, of which there were 150, and ordered them to kill St Eutropius and to bring back the virgin with them to her father’s house.

On the 30th April, joined by a crown of pagans, they went to the hut and first they stoned the most holy man of God, then they beat him, naked, with sticks and leaded whips, and only then did they cut off his
head with axes.

The girl, along with other Christians, buried him by night in his hut, and as long as she lived she observed a lamplight vigil with divine deference. When her life came to its hold end, she instructed that she be buried near the tomb of the master in her own free estate. 

Afterwards an enormous basilica of wonderful workmanship was built by Christians above the body of St Eutropius, in the name of the Holy and Indivisible Trinity, in which time after time people with all kinds of illnesses were cured, the crippled were raised, the blind were given sight, the deaf were restored to hearing, and the possessed were liberated. To all those who ask with a sincere heart, help is given, and iron chains and manacles and other such instruments from which St Eutropius freed prisoners, are hung there.

May he obtain for us by his merits and prayers, favour with God, wash away out sins, bring back to life virtues in us, guide our lives, snatch us in mortal danger from the jaws of hell, placate for us the anger of the eternal judge at the Last Judgement , and lead us to the lofty heights of the Kingdom, where stands Our Lord Jesus Christ who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns as God, world without end. Amen.
Roland
Then at Blaye, on the coast, one should seek the help of St Romanus, in whose basilica rests the body of the blessed martyr Roland, who was of noble family, a count of Charlemagne the King, one of his twelve warriors, who girded with the zeal of faith, entered Spain to expel the perfidious pagans.
It is said that he was filled with such strength that in Roncesvalles he split a rock from top to bottom through the middle with a triple stroke of his lance, and similarly while sounding his horn the wind from his mouth split in down the middle.
The ivory horn thus split is in the basilica of St Severinus in Brodeaux, and the church in Roncesvalles is built on the rock.
After Roland conquered many fine kingdoms and peoples, exhausted with hunger and cold and too much heat, cut down by terrible blows and successive beatings for the love of God, wounded by arrows and spears, at last he died from thirst in that valley, a precious martyr of Christ.


His companions interred the most holy body with great veneration in the basilica of St Romanus in Blaye.

St Severinus at Bordeaux

Then one should visit the body of St Severinus, bishop and confessor, at Bordeaux. His feast day is the 23rd October.


Charlemagnes's Warriors
Then in the territories of Bordeaux, in the town called Belin, one must visit the bodies of the holy martyrs Oliver, Gondebaud King of Friesa, Ogier King of Danmark, Arastain king of Brittany, Garin Duke of Lorraine and many others warriors of Charlemagne, who after conquering pagan armies in Spain were slaughtered for the faith of Christ.

Their companions brought back their precious bodies all the way to Belin and buried them there with great affection. They lie together in one tomb, from which the sweetest fragrance blazes which can make healthy the sick. 

SAINTS ON THE CAMINO FRANCES THROUGH SPAIN:
St Domingo
Next one must visit in Spain the body of St Domingo the Confessor, who made the paved road between Najera and Redecilla, where he himself rests. St Facundus and St Primativus
Then, one must visit the bodies of the blessed martyrs Facundus and Primativus, whose basilica Charlemagne built. Near the town there are wooded meadows, in which the warriors spears were driven and are said to have grown leaves. Their feast day is 27th November. 

St Isidore
From there, in the city of León, one must visit the venerable body of St Isidore, bishop, confessor and doctor, who instituted a most pious rule for the church clergy and imbued the Spanish people with his teachings, and graced the entire sacred church with the flower of his writings. 
St James the Apostle
At last one must visit, above all and with the greatest zeal, the most worthy body of St James the Apostle in the city of Compostella. 


May these saints, and all the other saints of God, assist us with their merits and prayers, through out Lord Jesus Christ, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen. 

Chapter IX. The City and Basilica of St. James, Apostle of Galicia.


The City of Compostela
Compostella lies between two rivers, the Sar and the Sarela. The Sar is to the east between Monte del Gozo, the Sarela, to the west. There are seven entrances and gates to the city. The first is called the French Gate, the second, the Puerta de la Pena, the third, the Puerta de Subfratribus, the fourth, the Gate of the Holy Pilgrim, the fifth, the Puerta Fajera, which leads to Padron, the sixth, the Gate of Susannis, the seventh, the Puerta de Mazarelos, through which valuable wine comes into the city.

The churches of the city

There are ten churches in this city, of which the first, situated in the centre, and radiating glory, is of the glorious apostle James, son of Zebedee. The second is of Blessed Peter the Apostle, in an abbey of monks near the French road. The third, St Michael’s, is called ‘the cistern’. The fourth is of St Martin the bishop, called ‘de Piniario’, also an abbey. The fifth is Holy Trinity, the burial place for pilgrims. The sixth is St Susanne the Virgin, near the Padron road; the seventh is St Felix the Martyr; the eighth is St Benedict’s; the ninth is of St Pelagius the Martyr, behind the basilica of St James. The tenth is St Mary the Virgin, behind the church of St James and having an entrance into that basilica, between the altars of St Nicolai and of the Holy Cross.

The basilica of Santiago
The Basilica of Santiago is the length of fifty-three men, from the west doorway to the altar of St Salvador. It is thirty-nine men wide, from the French to the south doorway; in the inside, it is fourteen times a man’s height.

One doesn't grasp from the outside how long and high it is. The church has nine aisles on the lower level, and six on the upper, and one major principal point, which has the altar of St Salvador: the laurel crown, the body, two limbs, and eight other small heads, each one of which has an altar. Of the nine aisles, six and moderate and three are large. The principal aisle runs from the east entrance to the four pillars which govern the whole church, with one aisle to the right, and another to the left.

The other two aisles are in the limbs, the first from the French door to the four pillars, the second from these pillars to the south doorway, each with two small lateral aisles.

The three principal aisles extend to the most heavenly part of the church, the six small aisles only as far as the ‘medias cindrias' [the meaning of the Latin ‘medias cindrias’ is uncertain].

Each of the large aisles is the height of eleven and a half men, taking the vertical height of a man as eight palms [1.7 metres].

The main aisle has twenty-nine pillars, fourteen on the right, the same to the left, and one between the doors on the north.

In the aisles of the cross of this church, from the French door to the south, there are twenty-six pillars, twelve on the right, the same to the left, and two in the entrance, separating the doorways. In the crown are eight remarkable columns around the altar of St James.

The six small aisles above in the galleries of the church are equal in length and breath to the aisles beneath them. They are supported on one side by walls, and on the other, pillars, which rise to the top from the aisles below, and double pillars which stonemasons call ‘mediae cindrae’ [as for note above, ‘cindrae’ is of uncertain meaning].

There are as many pillars in the lower part of the church as the upper, and as many arches, but in the gallery, between single pillars, there are columns, called ‘columnae cindriae’ by masons.

The church has no cracks or defects. It is an extraordinary work, with great space, bright, of fitting size, proportioned in its width, length and height, of extraordinary craft, with two levels like a royal palace.
He who goes up to the upper galleries, if sad going up, will see the perfect beauty and will rejoice and be happy. 

The windows

The basilica has sixty-three glass windows. There are three around each of the altars in the crown, five around the top of the church around the altar of St James, which shine down on the altar; and forty-three in the galleries.

The doorways
The church has three main doorways, and seven smaller ones. One of the main doors is to the west, the others to the north and south. Each of the doorways has two entrances, with double doors in each entrance.


The first of the seven smaller doors is called after St Mary, the second is the Sacred Way, the third is St Pelagius, the fourth is names after the Chapter, the fifth is the Stoneyard, the sixth also, the seventh is the Grammar School which allows entry to the residence of the Archbishop.

When we French people want to enter the basilica of the apostle, we go northside. Before the entrance, beside the road, is the hospice of the poor pilgrims of St James, and it is here, beyond the road, there is a park, to which nine steps descend. At the bottom of the steps is an miraculous fountain, like nothing in the world. For that fountain is at the foot of three stone steps, upon which is a beautiful stone shell, like a dish or cup, round and enclosed, so large, I think, that 15 men could bathe in it.

In the middle is a bronze column, broad at the base, aptly proportioned in length, with lions coming from four points, through whose mouths flows water for the curing of pilgrims of citizens of Santiago.
The water coming out of the lions’ mouths falls into the shell below, and from there exits the basin through a hole below the ground.

It cannot be seen where the water comes from, nor where it goes. The water is sweet, nourishing, healthy, clear, fine, warm in winter, temperate in summer. Around the column, under the feet of the lions, are these letters:

I, Bernard, treasurer of Santiago,
led this water here and placed this monument,
to cure my soul and the souls of my parents.
11 April 1122. 

The forecourt (Paradise) of the city
Beyond the fountain is the forecourt, divinely inspired, with a pavement of stone,where they sell the shells to pilgrims that are the sign of St James, and wineskins, deerskin satchels, purses, laces, belts, and all kinds of medicinal herbs and other spices, and much more.

The French street has money changers, hotel keepers, and other merchants. The forecourt is a stone’s throw long and wide.

The North (‘French’) Doorway
Beyond the forecourt, to the north of the basilica of St James, is the French door, in which there are two entrances, both carved with beautiful works. Each of the outsides of the entrances has six columns, some marble, some stone, three on the right, three on the left, so six on each side making twelve columns. Above the column, between the two outside doors, God is placed in seated majesty, giving a blessing with his right hand, and holding a book in his left.

Around the throne are the four evangelists, as if holding it up, and to the right is carved paradise, in which another image of God is rebuking Adam and Eve for their sin. Similarly to the left in another depiction he is driving them from paradise.

All around are many holy images, beasts, men, Angels, women, flowers and other creatures, whose substance and quality we cannot describe because of their number. However in the recess above the door, which is to the left when we enter the basilica, there is the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, with the angel Gabriel speaking to her.

To the left above the entrance, entering the side, are the months of the year and many other fine works.
Two fierce lions are on the outside wall, one to the right and the other to the left, as if always watching the doors.

Above the thresholds are four apostles, each holding books in their hands, and giving blessings with raised right hands to those entering the basilica.

Peter is on the left entrance to the right, Paul on the right, and on the right-hand entrance the apostle John is to the right, and St James on the left.

Above the heads of the apostles, springing forth from the lintels, are remarkable carved bulls’ heads.

The South Doorway (Puerta de la Platerias)
There are two entrances in south doorway of the apostolic basilica, as we have said, and four doors.
On the right hand entrance outside, in the first row above the door, is carved the Betrayal of Christ with miraculous skill: there the Lord is tied by the hands of the Jews to the pillar; there he is beaten with a whip; there Pilate sits on his throne, as if judging him.

Above in another line is carved St. Mary, Mother of the Lord, with her son in Bethlehem, and three kings who have come to visit the boy and his mother offering them three gifts, and the Star, and the Angel warning them not to return to Herod.

On the lintels of this entrance are two apostles as if guarding the doors, one on the right, the other on the left, and likewise two apostles on the lintels on the other entrance, to the left.

And in the first line of this entrance, above the doors carved with the Temptation of the Christ, there are three angels before the Lord, like skeletons, placing him on the pinnacle of the Temple, some offering him stones to persuade him to turn them to bread, others showing him the kingdoms of the world, saying they will give them to him if he falls adoring them. But other shining white angels, clearly good, some behind him and others over him, attend to him with incense.

The same doorway has four lions, one on the right in one entrance, and another on the other side; between the two is an entrance, and above the pillar, there are two more fierce lions, rear end to rear end. This doorway has eleven columns, five to the right of the right-hand entrance, the same to the left of the left hand entrance, and the eleventh between the two entrances.

Some are marble, some stone, carved with extraordinary images: flowers, men, birds, animals. The columns are of white marble.

Nor must we forget to relate the woman standing beside the Temptation of Christ, holding in her hands the foetid head of her lover, cut off by her own husband, which, forced by her man, she kisses twice a day.
What great and admirable justice to an adulterous woman, to be told to all!

On the top line, above the four doors towards the gallery of the basilica, a series miraculously gleams in white marble stones.

God stands there straight, St Peter to his left holding keys in his hands, and St James on his right between two cypress trees, and St John his brother beside him, and the other apostles to the right and left. 


On the wall above and below, left and right, are evidently the best carvings, with flowers, saints, beasts, birds, fish, and other works, which we cannot describe fully.

But there are four angels over the doors, each holding a horn, proclaiming the day of judgement.

The West Doorway
The western doorway, with two entrances, transcends the others in beauty, size and workmanship; it is bigger and finer than the others, and more wonderfully worked, with many steps outside, and different marble columns, and decorated with different things and manners, carved with images, men, women, animals, birds, saints, angels, flowers and different such works. There are so many works, they cannot be described by our account.

Above is the Transfiguration of the Lord, just as it was in Mount Tabor, carved wonderfully. For it is the Lord there in a white cloud, face shining like the sun, clothes gleaming like snow; and his Father above speaking to him, and Moses and Elijah who appeared with him, speaking to him of the death which would be fulfilled in Jerusalem.

There are St James and Peter and John, to whom God revealed his transfiguration before all others.


The towers of the Basilica

There are to be nine towers in the church: two above the southern door, and two above the western door, and two above each staircase, and another bigger one over the cross in the middle of the church. With these and other most beautiful works the basilica of St James shines with the brightest glory.

It is made wholly from the strongest living stone, brown and hard, like marble, decorated inside with different images, and outside covered excellently with tiles and lead. Of all these things described, some are complete, others are yet to be finished.

The altars of the basilica
The altars of this basilica take the following order: first, beside the French Doorway on the left-hand side, is the altar of St Nicholas; next is the altar of the Holy Cross; next, in the crown, is the altar of St Faith the Virgin; next is the altar of St John the Apostle and Evangelist, brother of St James; next in the main head is the altar of the Holy Saviour; next is the altar of St Peter the Apostle; next is the altar of St Peter the Apostle; next is the altar of St Andrew; next is the altar of St Martin the Bishop; next is the altar of t John the Baptist.

Between the altar of St James and the altar of the Holy Saviour is the Altar of St Mary Magdaline, where the early morning Masses for pilgrims are sung. Above, the the gallery of the church, there are three altars: the chief of which is the altar of St Michael the Archangel, the one on the right hand part is the alter of St Benedict, and the one on the left if the altar of St Paul the Apostle and St Nicholas the Bishop, where the Archbishop’s chapel tends to be.

The Body and the Altar of St James
In this venerable basilica the revered body of Santiago lies under the main altar, built in his honour, in a marble coffin in a fine arched tomb, built with appropriate craft and size.

The body is held to be immovable, according to St Theodormir, bishop of this city, who discovered it and was not able to move it. May rivals across the mountains blush, therefore, who saw they have anything of him or his relics.

The whole body of the Apostle is here, divinely illuminated by heavenly precious stones, permanently honoured by divine and fragrant smells, graced with gleaming celestial candles, honoured with angelic and meticulous deference.

Over this tomb is a small altar, which it is said his disciples made, and for the love of the Apostle and his disciples, nobody afterwards wanted to destroy.

Above it is a large and wonderful altar, fifteen palms high, twelve long and seven wide. I have measured it so with my own hands. The small altar is enclosed by the larger on three sides, right, left and behind, but is open at the front, so that one can see through the opening the old altar, when the silver screen is taken away. But if anyone wishes to send an alter cloth or linen for the alter of the apostle, out of love for Santiago, it should be nine palms in width and twenty-one in length.

If anyone, for love of God and the Apostle, wishes to send a cover for the outside of the altar, make sure it is made seven palms wide, and thirteen long.


The three lamps
In front of the altar of Santiago, three huge silver lamps are suspended for the glory of Christ and the Apostle. The one in the middle is huge, and worked marvellously like a large grinding bowl, containing seven receptacles, the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, in which seven lamps are placed. 

These receive only balsam, myrtle or olive oil. The receptacle in the middle is bigger than the others. And in each one around this one, two apostles are carved on the outside. 

May the soul of King Alfonso of Aragon, who by tradition gave it to Santiago, rest in peace forever.

The authority of the church of Santiago, and of its canons. 
At the altar of Santiago, normally no one celebrates Mass unless he’s either a bishop, Archbishop, Pope, or a Cardinal of this same church. It is common practise in this basilica that seven cardinals, by custom, celebrate divine office on the altar, as established and permitted by many popes, and moreover confirmed by the Lord Pope Calixtinus. This grace, which the basilica of Santiago has by good custom, for the love of the apostle should not be taken away by anybody.

The Builders of the Church, and the start and completion of the work 
The master stonemasons who built the basilica of Santiago were named Bernard the Old, a wonderful master, and Robert, who with another fifty masons worked painstakingly under the faithful supervision of Master Wicart, the head of the Chapter Segeredo, and Abbot Gundesindo, in the reign of King Alfonso of Spain under Bishop Diego, a most active soldier and generous man. 

The church was begun in 1078. From the year it was begun to the death of Alfonso, the bravest and most renowned king of Aragon, there were 59 years; until the murder of Henry, King of England, 62 years; and until the death of Louis the Fat, King of France, 63 years. From the laying of the first stone in the foundations to the last was 44 years. 

From the beginning until the present day, the church has been always renewed by the glittering miracles of St James. For health is given to the sick, vision to the blind, the tongue of the speechless is released, hearing is revealed to the deaf, health is given to the crippled, the possessed are liberated. And, what is more, prayers of the faithful are heard, their vows are taken up, the chains of sin are loosened, heaven is closed to those who assail it, solace is given to the sad, and people of all nations, from every part of the world, come trooping together bearing gifts of praise to the Lord.

The status of the Church of Santiago
Nor should it be forgotten that the status of the archbishopric of the city, which was previously in Merida, a city in Saracen territory, was transferred to the city and basilica of Santiago by Pope Calixtinus, of happy memory, given for love and honour of the Apostle. For this, he ordained and confirmed Diego, a most noble man, as the first archbishop if the Apostolic Seat of Compostella. Diego himself had previously been the bishop of St James.

Chapter X. Canons of St James.


Moreover, there are seventy two canons, it is said, attached to this church, the same number as the disciples of Christ, keeping the rule of St Doctor Isadore of Spain. The offerings to the altar of St James are divided among them, week by week. 

To the first are given the offerings in the first week; to the second in the second, to the third the in third, and are given bountifully all the way to the last. 

Every Sunday, it’s said, they make three parts of the offerings, of which the first is received by the official whose Sunday it is. From the other two parts, likewise they make three parts, of which one is generally given to the canons for lunch, the other for works on the basilica, and the other for the archbishop of the church. 

But on the week between Palm Sunday and Easter, it correctly ought to be given to the poor pilgrims of Santiago in the hostel. 

Actually, if God’s justice were to be adhered to, the tenth part of the offerings at the altar of Santiago ought to be given to the poor arriving at the hostel. 

Because all poor pilgrims, for the love of God and the Apostles, on the first night after the day they reach the altar of Santiago, should receive the full hospitality of the hostel. There the sick should be looked after charitably until either death, or until they are entirely healthy. For this is how it is done at St Leonard. As many poor pilgrims arrive there, they all receive sustenance. 

Also it should be the custom that the offerings to the altar between morning and terce each Sunday, be given to the lepers of this city. 

If any prelate of this basilica makes a fraud on this, or diverts any other offerings to be given, as we have described, may his sin be between himself and God. 

Chapter XI. How to treat Peregrinos.

Pilgrims, poor or rich, whether coming or going to the place of St James, must be received charitably and respected by all peoples. For whoever will take them in and diligently procure hospitality for them, will be hosting not only St James but even the Lord Himself. For the Lord himself said in the gospel, ‘He who receives you, receives me’.


Many have met with God’s anger because they did not want to look after pilgrims to St James, and the needy. 


At Nantua, a town between Geneva and Lyon, a weaver, repeatedly denying bread to a beseeching pilgrim of St James, found the cloth on his loom suddenly ripped away and crashing down. 

At Villeneuve, a poor pilgrim of St James asked for alms from a woman who had bread under hot cinders, who replied that she did not have any. 

The pilgrim said to her, ‘May the bread you have turn to stone!’


When he left her house and was far away, the woman went to the cinders, thinking the bread was there, and found a round stone in place of the bread. 

With a penitent heart she followed the pilgrim but did not find him. 

At the city of Poitiers, two French veterans returning from Santiago without anything to call their own, looked for hospitality from the house of Joannis Gauterius all the way to St Porchaire, without finding it. In the very last house of the street, next to the basilica of St Porcarius, they were given hospitality at the home of a poor man, and by the working of divine vengeance, that night the swiftest fire burned the whole street, from the house where they had first asked for hospitality, all the way to the one which received them, and there were about 1,000 houses. 

And truly, by the grace of God, the home remained in which the servants of God were guests.

Which is why it should be known, that peregrinos of Santiago, poor or wealthy, in justice should be taken in, and diligently attended to.



Here is the fourth book of St James the Apostle.
May glory be to he who writes it, and to he who reads it.



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