Pilgrimage and Saints Cults Short Writing Assignment Word Count: 600 The Liber Sancti Iacobi or “Book of St. James” was written for medieval pilgrims on their way to the tomb of St. James in Santiago, Spain. This twelfth-century travel guide was designed to identify and describe for the medieval pilgrim all of the “must see” sights along the way to the cathedral of Santiago. For this assignment, you are asked to find something very specific in the text on which you wish to do additional research (light, internet-based research), then prepare a short report using the following guidelines. Step #1 Read quickly the excerpt from the Liber Sancti Iacobi (below). This text likely includes a number of place names and personal names (usually of saints) unfamiliar to you. Read the text with a map of France and Spain (use Google maps) at ready and conduct Google searches of unfamiliar names that pique your interest. Step #2 Pick one of the saints or relics mentioned in the text and conduct preliminary (internet based) research into the life, death, and posthumous miracles associated with your saint. (Wikipedia and Catholic Encyclopedia [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/] are both adequate for this assignment.) In your research, consider the following questions: 1. Who was the saint? When did he or she live? 2. Why, according to church tradition, is this person considered to be a saint? 3. Where are the bones (or other primary relics) of the saint located today? (NB: The bodies of particularly important saints may have been broken up and distributed among several different churches. List all of them.) 4. For what miracles is the saint best remembered? Does the saint have any specialties? (For example, St. Giles was considered a specialist in protection again plague). Step #3 Write a short, summary report on your research and conclude with a paragraph explaining (from the perspective of a medieval Christian) why you want to go on pilgrimage to the relics of your saint. (What do you hope to achieve as a result visiting the relics of a particular saint? Spiritual illumination? Physical healing?)
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