As told by the New Testament, Saint James the Greatest, together with his brother John, was one of the first of the twelve Apostles called by Jesus, and became one of his closer and most trusted disciples.
The epithet “the Greatest” derives from the fact that his call occurred before that of the other Saint James, Alfeo’s son, who was thus named “the Minor”.
“Privileged” witness of many episodes of Jesus’ life, the Saint was also present at various miracles and was the first martyr Apostle. Saint James the Greatest proclaimed the Gospel in Spain, and after his martyrdom in Jerusalem, his body was brought back to the coasts of Galicia. The sepulchre containing his remains was discovered in the year 830 by the anchorite Pelagius after a luminous vision. Following this miraculous event, the place was called campus stellae (“star’s field”), from which derives the current name of Compostela. In 1075 began the construction of the magnificent Basilica dedicated to the Saint which, since the Middle Ages, became a place of pilgrimage.
Even now, the Cathedral is the final destination of a long route that many pilgrims every year follow to reach the city where the remains of the martyr Saint are preserved.
On the 25h of July, on the occasion of the festivity of St. James the Greatest, we celebrate him through the explanation by Paola Burberi, museum assistant of the Uffizi Galleries, of the fascinating portrait of the Saint made by Benvenuto Tisi, known as il Garofalo.