Friday, July 25, 2008

Santiago Matamoros

I'm feeling better, and was able to get to Confession and evening Mass today, and had the privilege of serving. Matins and Lauds of the Apostle are done, now for the rest of it!

Today we feast St James the Greater, Apostle & Martyr, Patron of Spain - Santiago Matamoros (St James the Moor-Slayer), so named from his apparition from heaven to aid the Christians in several battles against the Moors wickedly occupying Spain. Some may think his help is needed again...

(Fr Rowe rather likes the idea of a mechanical statue of St James Matamoros: pop a dollar in the slot, and it chops off the head of a cowering infidel... LOL)

Since the next WYD is slated for Madrid, I think a prayer or two to St James against the enemies, political and religious, of our Most Holy Faith wouldn't go astray.

St James was a son of Zebedee and brother of St John, from Bethsaida in Galilee; a fisherman, who was called away by the Lord to follow Him. Together with St Peter and St John, he came to the cure of St Peter’s mother-in-law, to the raising of the daughter of Jairus, to Christ’s Transfiguration and to Christ's Agony in the Garden. St James' (rather pushy) mother asked for him and his brother to have a high place in the kingdom, but having been gently turned toward the right path by the Divine response, St James accepted the chalice of martyrdom from the Lord, becoming the first of the apostolic band to die a martyr, being beheaded at Jerusalem in AD 42 (or 44) - see Acts 12:1-2. His relics are kept, according to tradition, at Santiago de Compostella: "St James of the field of stars" (since in a vision of such his presence was revealed).

Several friends of mine have made the pilgrimage along the camino de Santiago to the great shrine of St James at Compostella, walking all the way from Roncesvalles on the French border; one day I hope to make that pilgrimage too: maybe in 2011?

The Mozarabic Rite had a prayer said before Mass, petitioning Christ our Lord for aid, at the intercession of Our Lady, St James, and all saints:

Per gloriam nominis tui Christe Fili Dei vivi et per intercessionem sancte Marie Virginis et beati Jacobi et omnium sanctorum tuorum auxiliare et miserere indignis servis tuis et esto in medio nostri Deus noster qui vivis et regnas in secula seculorum. Deo gratias.

By the glory of Thy Name, O Christ, Son of the living God, and through the intercession of saint Mary the Virgin and of blessed James and of all Thy saints, help and have mercy on thine unworthy servants, and be in the midst of us, our God, who livest and reignest world without end. Thanks be to God.

This is a commemoration of St James, invoking him as patron of Spain:

Aña. Lux et decus Hispaniae, O Jacobe sanctissime, sublevator oppressorum, suffragium viatorum, qui inter apostles primus martyr laureatus obtines primatum, O singulare praesidium, tuorum benignus exaudi vota servorum, et intercedas pro nostra omniumque salute.
V/. Ora pro nobis, beate Jacobe.
R/. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.
Esto, Domine, plebis tuae sanctificator et custos, ut, apostoli tui Jacobi munita praesidiis, et conversatione tibi placeat et secura deserviat. Per dominum nostrum Iesum Christum filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia secula seculorum. R/. Amen.

Ant. Light and adornment of Spain, O most holy James, supporter of the oppressed, succour of travellers, crowned with laurel, who obtainest the first place of martyrdom among the apostles: O unique protection, kindly one, hear the prayers of thy servants, and mayest thou intercede for our salvation and the salvation of all.
V/. Pray for us, blessed James.
R/. That we be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray.
Be, O Lord, the sanctifier and guardian of Thy people, so that, fortified by the protection of Thine apostle James, they may be pleasing to Thee by their way of life and securely serve Thee. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
R/. Amen.


Amawalker said...

Jacob the fisherman evolved into the archetypal hero of Western culture. From Sant’ Iago Matamoros (killer of the Moors) to Sant’ Iago Mataindios (killer of Indians) to Sant’ Iago Mataespañois (killer of Spaniards) – everyone wanted him as their hero!
In Mexico City there is a carving from the altarpiece of the Church of Santiago Tlatelolco showing him as Santiago Mataindios - the Indian-slayer.
And although Christianity and the Catholic religion were taken to the Americas by the Spaniards, when Mexico fought to obtain its independence from Spain in 1810, Sant’ Iago was exalted as Santiago Mataespañois - the slayer of Spaniards!
In Peru, during an indigenous uprising in 19th-century they adopted Santiago
as its champion, using the "Matamoros" iconography of “Santiago Mataespañois” that in Peru had come to be associated with a pre-Columbian deity who drove out evil forces.
There is a mid-19thC silver statue of Santiago Mataespañois in the Museum of Pilgrimages in Santiago de Compostela.

and another one – scroll down to under Ano 1998 - (as well as pictures of items from the museum) here:

You can see the altarpiece of Santiago Mataindios here (click on the photo to enlarge it)

You can see paintings of Santiago Matamoros and Mataindios together here:

Joshua said...

Thanks for this very interesting information!

Such appropriation strikes me as true inculturation!

I wonder if images of St Michael smiting the devil have similarly morphed over time...

- recall that famous painting of St Michael in which the artist, nursing a grudge, has given Satan the face of the then-reigning Pope!