Sunday, 3 January 2010

Part Two...

There is no mention of Santiago in any of the literature about Galicia before the late 6th century when the Brevarium Apostelorum claims that the Apostle James preached in Spain. Even then, there is nothing written about his having been buried in Spain.

After the Romans withdrew their forces in the early part of the 5th century, the Sueves took charge in Galicia. Their religion was Arianism which had similarities with Priscillianism. Despite the execution of the man who gave this movement its name and the Roman attempt to eradicate all traces of the movement, there were many Priscillianists still in the north of Spain and in Galicia in particular. The Sueves appeared to have been tolerant of the Priscillianists and those who followed his teachings were allowed to continue to a certain extent.

It was only when the Visigoths took power and especially after their wholesale conversion to Catholicism that the Priscillianists were forced to meet in secret. Even then, churchmen writing of St. James such as Isidore of Sevilla and St.Julian said nothing about the Saint having been brought back from Jerusalem after his decapitation to be buried in Galicia. Julian, in fact, outright denied it as a possibility.

The Brevarium Apostelorum does mention Santiago’s evangelistic efforts in “Hispania” but it is unlikely that there were any Christian churches outside of Baetica (Southern Spain) before the year 200. Anyway, Pope Clement VIII insisted that all mentions of St. James’ proselytising be removed from the Brevarium in the 16th century.

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