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The Codex Calixtinus and the Acts of the Apostels
where do the millions of pilgrims come from ?

How researchers discovered the links between the Codex Calixtinus and the Apocalypse and the origin of the image of pilgrims by millions

The pilgrims and walkers of Saint James who, year after year, take the way readily, put their steps into those of the millions of pilgrims who preceded them. They are encouraged there by the speech of pilgrim associations which repeat with the envy this assertion, believing to honour the first scholars and researchers who gave honor to the pilgrimage after the last war. To dare to blame the writings of these first researchers is scandalous for some. All these priests who, in France, sought traces of worship of Saint James and vestiges of the places where pilgrims received hospitality cannot have been mistaken! The good sense however started to question itself.
Somport saw many passing people. There the Sainte-Christine hospital could be installed only for the pilgrims of Compostelle ? Cluny started abbeys in all Europe, those which are on the roads leading to Spain would have been only for the pilgrims of Compostelle ? And other questions.
It is then advisable to question the historian. Does research make it possible to find traces of these millions of pilgrims? On what rest these assertions sometimes engraved in marble as on the "Saint-Jacques tower" in Paris? The historian hardly dares to answer as he feels an honest answer will attract the attention of these questioners to him who do not hear his answer.
He certainly finds mentioned in his sources troops of pilgrims, but what if a troop is just a few tens of individuals ? He searches hospital registers to find a few hundreds of pilgrims in tens of thousands of accomodated people, and the number of those which are named pilgrims of Saint James de Galice is ridiculously low. Some say to him that undoubtedly whoever wrote the book had the idleness to write... He refers to work which could in their research have crossed these famous pilgrims: the specialist in Cluny does not have anything to say, the archivist who holds the documents of foundation of the hospital of such city, a place of gathering of pilgrims in departure for Compostelle did not mention them there. The specialist who studied the judgments painstakingly gathered a few hundreds of pilgrims and found that the registers of royal pardons hardly reveal much more.

Then ? The disapeared documents has infomation on millions of pilgrims. Is this of course ? It caused the research of the historian He continues when this certainty comes from his pilgrim companions of today ? How did this certainty arrive to them? He starts again with the texts to find the first mention of this immense crowd. By chance a literary colleague comes to translate the Veneranda Dies, the last of the sermons of the Pope Calixte transmitted by the worthy Codex Calixtinus. He reads it with passion, finding the formulas which were taken again and clearings by the successors of Calixte. Then suddenly his ear is more attentive. These sentences sound to him like an older text.
In Compostelle one venerates James, the elder brother, but John his younger brother, preferred by Christ, already, well before Calixte employed the same words, called upon the same images. And a scan of the horizon results in the magic word Apocalypse ! And to return from the images, the Lamb on the throne, the Heavenly Jerusalem, and of the words similar to those of the sermon : a hundred and forty four thousand and the innumerable crowd of the others. And another name emerges to his memory of Beatus. The commentator of this last book of the New Testament. The historian foresees a scan of a whole field of investigations guided by this new star which has just emerged. What are the filiations between these text ? What are the influences ? Saint James represented in majesty in Compostelle, isn't this how Christ appears in majesty at the Apocalypse ? The first apostle martyr can be only with his Lord.
Then an immense crowd and the millions of pilgrims are there, in the Heavenly Jerusalem. But wasn't Compostelle compared to it ? By who ? When ? In which text ? Where and how was it taken again ? It is necessary to continue research, to find filiations, perhaps recopies. Enquiring friends light our ways. That will not prevent the walker from feeling pain and to sing on its way and to sing even more when he forms part of a long troop It is no more millions of pilgrims who are before him : it is humanity walking ... towards the Heaven !

 

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