Compostella Santiago De

Compostella Santiago de, a town in Spain, and one of the three most famous places of pilgrimage in the Church of Rome, the two others being Rome and Jerusalem. The place was formerly called ad Sanctum Jacobum Apostolum or Giacomo Postolo, whence by abbreviation Compostella was formed. According to a Spanish tradition, the apostle James the Elder came to the Pyrenaean peninsula, and is buried at Compostella. The legend of the apostle having preached in Spain is first mentioned in the ninth century, and has generally been repudiated by the Roman Catholic writers, although it was defended by the Bollandists (Acta Sanct. tom. vi, Julii, Appendix; and tom. i, Aprilis, Diatribe), and by the Protestant J. A. Fabricius (Salutaris Lux Evangeli, c. 16, § 2). The claim of Compostella to the body of the apostle has found more advocates among the Roman Catholic writers, although the church of St. Saturnine at Toulouse prefers the same claim. The rival claims have been compromised by assuming that each church had one half, as a division of famous relics, it is alleged, frequently occurred in the Middle Ages. Compostella was made a bishopric in the beginning of the 9th century, and in 1120 an archbishopric. — Wetzer u. Welte, Kirchen-Lex. 2:736.

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