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A Miracle of St. James

Thomas Perrot
This miracle of St. James was ordered to be written down by His Holiness Pope Calixtus and included in the compilation of 22 Miracles of St. James. Regarding that work, he made this attestation:

"Let no one think that We have written down all the miracles and stories that We have heard about him, but only those that We have judged to be true, based on the truest assertions of the most truthful people. ... Because of this We have ordered that this manuscript be considered among the true and authentic manuscripts, and that it be read diligently both in churches and refectories on the feast days of this Apostle and on other days if it be pleasing."

It happened that a very great war arose between the Count of Forcalquier and one of his military subordinates by the name of William. As the subordinate resolutely rode into battle against the Count, they both came together in battle along with their soldiers.

miracles of st james
However, since the subordinate's army was weak and turned tail, he was captured in the war and brought into the Count's presence. When the Count himself ordered him to be beheaded, the soldier called out in a loud voice, "James, Apostle of God, whom Herod killed with a sword in Jerusalem, help me and free me from the sword of the executioner."

With his hands raised toward Heaven, he withstood the blow on his lowered neck three times, and no trace of injury appeared on it.

When the executioner saw that he could not harm the soldier with the sword's blade, he directed its point at his stomach, so that he might run him through. However, St. James dulled the sword so that the soldier did not even feel the blow.

When the Count as well as all the others who were there marveled at these events, the Count ordered the military to be bound and locked up in his castle.

As the next morning was just dawning, and as the subordinate was calling on St. James between his sobs, lo and behold, the Apostle himself was standing before him, saying: "Behold, I whom you have called am here."

Then, the whole house was filled with a most serene light and with such a fragrance that all the soldiers and all the others who were there thought that they had been transported to the delight of Paradise.

st james

St. James in traditional pilgrim garb

In this gleaming light, with St. James leading and holding his hand, the soldier arrived at the outermost castle gate in full view of everyone, but with the guards almost blinded. After the gates had opened, both went together for a mile beyond the walls.

Because of this, the soldier, who was burning with love for St. James, reached the Saint's body and church [in Compostella] on the feast of his translatio [July 25] and recounted all these things in the same order as we related them here.

This was accomplished by the Lord and it is miraculous in our eyes. Therefore may honor and glory be to the highest King forever and ever. Amen.


Excerpt from The Miracles of Saint James, trans. from The Liber Sancti Joacobi
by Thomas Coffey and Linda Kay Davidson, NY: Italica Press, 1996, Miracle 20, pp. 93-95
Posted July 25, 2020

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