Though the many beings are numberless, I vow to save them. Though greed, hatred, and ignorance rise endlessly, I vow to cut them off. Though the Dharma is vast and fathomless, I vow to understand it. Though Buddha's Way is beyond attainment, I vow to embody it fully.
James, son of Zebedee (died 44 AD) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. He was a son of Zebedee and Salome, and brother of John the Apostle. He is also called James the Greater to distinguish him from James, son of Alphaeus, who is also known as James the Lesser.
James is described as one of the first disciples to join Jesus.
The Synoptic Gospels state that James and John were with their father by the seashore when Jesus called them to follow him. James was one of only three apostles whom Jesus selected to bear witness to his Transfiguration.The Acts of the Apostles records that Agrippa I had James executed by sword. He is the only apostle whose martyrdom is recorded in the New Testament. He is, thus, traditionally believed to be the first of the 12 apostles martyred for his faith. Nixon suggests that this may have been caused by James' fiery temper, for which he and his brother earned the nickname Boanerges or "Sons of Thunder". F. F. Bruce contrasts this story to that of the Liberation of Peter, and notes that "James should die while Peter should escape" is a "mystery of divine providence."
Saint James is the Patron Saint of Spain and according to legend, his remains are held in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia (Spain). The traditional pilgrimage to the grave of the saint, known as the "Way of St. James", has been the most popular pilgrimage for Western European Catholics from the early Middle Ages onwards.
According to ancient local tradition, on 2 January of the year AD 40, the Virgin Mary appeared to James on the bank of the Ebro River at Caesaraugusta, while he was preaching the Gospel in Iberia. She appeared upon a pillar, Nuestra Señora del Pilar, and that pillar is conserved and venerated within the present Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, in Zaragoza, Spain. Following that apparition, St James returned to Judea, where he was beheaded by King Herod Agrippa I in the year 44. .
The 12th-century Historia Compostellana commissioned by bishop Diego Gelmírez provides a summary of the legend of St James as it was believed at Compostela. Two propositions are central to it: first, that St James preached the gospel in Iberia as well as in the Holy Land; second, that after his martyrdom at the hands of Herod Agrippa I his disciples carried his body by sea to Iberia, where they landed at Padrón on the coast of Galicia, and took it inland for burial at
Santiago de Compostela.
The translation of his relics from Judea to Galicia in the northwest of Iberia was effected, in legend, by a series of miraculous happenings: decapitated in Jerusalem with a sword by Herod Agrippa himself, his body was taken up by angels, and sailed in a rudderless, unattended boat to Iria Flavia in Iberia, where a massive rock closed around his relics, which were later removed to Compostela.
An even later tradition states that he miraculously appeared to fight for the Christian army during the battle of Clavijo, and was henceforth called Matamoros (Moorslayer). Santiago y cierra España ("St James and strike for Spain") has been the traditional battle cry of Spanish armies.
“ St James the Moorslayer, one of the most valiant saints and knights the world ever had ... has been given by God to Spain for its patron and protection. ”
Cervantes, Don Quixote .
The feast day of St James is celebrated on 25 July on the liturgical calendars of the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and certain Protestant churches. He is commemorated on 29 April in the Orthodox Christian liturgical calendar (for those churches which follow the traditional Julian Calendar, 30 April currently falls on 13 May of the modern Gregorian Calendar). .
. Here's a musical video poem of sorts, about
the country of "the way," and the pilgrims that
journey on thatroad.
. Prayer For Courage . O glorious Apostle, Saint James, who by reason of thy fervent and generous heart was chosen by Jesus to be witness of His glory on Mount Tabor, and of His agony in Gethsemane; thou, whose very name is a symbol of warfare and victory: obtain for us strength and consolation in the unending warfare of this life, that, having constantly and generously followed Jesus, we may be victors in the strife and deserve to receive the victor's crown in heaven. Amen. .
. Here's another YouTube video, this one
a trailer for the 2010 movie "THE WAY," with Martin Sheen.
It's a story about the death of a man's son on TheWay of Saint James, and the father's journey down the same pathway in a search for answers.
. On Self-Centeredness . O Gentle Jesus, Saint James was one of Your first apostles, but he started out as an impulsive, self-centered man. He dared to ask You for a place of honor in Your kingdom, and he wanted You to destroy the villages that had rejected You, but eventually he developed a true understanding of holiness. .
I ask him to pray that my humility grows stronger than my pride, that I submit my will to Your will, and that when I speak, my words reveal Your gentleness and love. Restrain me when I want to rush ahead, and give me a broader perspective when I'm seeing things through a narrow, limited view. .Saint James, pray for me. Amen.
. Of the many gods [of the pre-Spanish era in the Americas], Quetzalcoatl stands out alone as the most warmly human, divinely inspired, and mysteriously unknown.
Quetzalcoatl, says Spinden, was "the greatest figure
in the ancient history of the New World." Writes Sejourne,
"His image, the plumed serpent, had for pre-Columbian peoples the same evocative force as has the Crucifix for Christianity." .
Certainly the myth of the god who helped to create
the Fifth Sun and gave it movement, who as a white, bearded, culture-hero appeared among his people, taught them the arts of civilization and founded their religion, and then disappeared, was the basic religious theme common to all Mesoamerica. . . Quetzalcoatl's Nahuatl name derives from two words: quetzal - a rare, brilliantly green bird found only in the highlands of Chiapas and Guatemala; and coatl - serpent; literally "the plumed serpent." But coatl, says Nicholson, is a combination of the generic Maya term co, for serpent, and the Nahuatl word atl, for water. Caso states that quetzal feathers were a symbol of something precious and coatl also means "twin brother," so that Quetzalcoatl may also be translated as the "Precious Twin," another of his names which may also allude to the fact that the morning and evening stars are the same planet, Venus. . Among the Nahuas he was known as Quetzalcoatl, the Plumed Serpent, Lord of the Land of the Dead, Ehecatl, the God of Wind, and the personification of the planet Venus, the Lord of Dawn. He is the god of life and fertility. He is the creator of man, for whom he created agriculture, and to whom he gave the calendar. He gave mankind maize corn, having stolen kernels of corn by changing into an ant, and stealing them from the ants that had hidden them. He is worshipped by many Mexican and Central American cultures, including the Aztecs and the Maya. He is the patron of priests and twins, being a twin god himself. .
. There are two principal myths about Quetzalcoatl in the Codice Chimalpopoca. According to the one recorded by Sahagun, he was the ruler of the Toltec capital of Tollan. Deposed because he was opposed to human sacrifice which was upheld by the followers of Tezcatlipoca, he fled to the east coast and sailed away on a raft of snakes after prophesying his return in the year of his birth, Ce Acatl. This is the most common myth about him and the reason that Cortes was hailed as the returning Quetzalcoatl when he arrived in the year of the god's prophesied return. This is the myth so dramatically illustrated by the famous mural paintings of Diego Rivera. It is still believed by thousands of Indians in Mesoamerica; and his prophesied return from across the great salt water in the direction of the rising sun, under the Hopi name of Pahana (from Pasu - Salt Water), is still anticipated by the Hopis of Arizona. This may illustrate the old belief that Latin America will fulfill her true destiny only when the plumed serpent learns to fly. .
. Who the original Quetzalcoatl was is not known. Volumes of conjectures have been written in attempts to identify him as an actual person: an errant Norseman, the Irish St. Brendan, a Buddhist priest from the Near East or from China as postulated by Mertz, St. Thomas or St. Paul. The early Spanish historians Torquemada and Clavigero describe him as a man white-skinned, of ruddy complexion, with a long beard, clothed in black linen robes. He is reported to have appeared on the west coast of Mexico, at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, on the east coast at the mouth of the Panuco, also in South America. . Attempts have been made to link him with concepts in ancient Greece and Egypt. He may have been indigenous, an early religious concept originating on the east coast of Mexico as suggested by Caso; elaborately carved "apotheosis" statues of him dating from about A.D. 1000 have been found among the Huastecs on the northern Gulf coast. . How many Quatzalcoatls there were! Their very number refutes all attempts to identify him as a legendary or semi-historical personage. One can only conclude that Quatzalcoatl was an archetypal figure which first emerged into consciousness at Teotihuacan, where he was given full form and meaning, and whose teachings virtually constituted the religion of the vast Teotihuacan empire and were spread throughout all Mesoamerica. . Edited from MEXICO MYSTIQUE - The Coming Sixth World of Consciousness by Frank Waters .
"Coat of Many Colors" is a song written and recorded by American singer Dolly Parton, which has been described on a number of occasions as the favorite song she has written. It was released in October 1971 as the second single and title track from the album Coat of Many Colors. She composed the song in 1969, while traveling with Porter Wagoner on a tour bus. (She explained in her 1994 memoir, My Life and Other Unfinished Business, because she could find no paper, as the song came to her, she wrote it on the back of a dry cleaning receipt from one of Wagoner's suits; when the song became a hit, Wagoner had the receipt framed.) She recorded the song in April 1971, making it the title song for her Coat of Many Colors album. The song reached #4 on the U.S. country singles charts.
Back through the years I go wondering once again
back to the seasons of my youth
And I recall a box of rags that someone gave us
and how my mamma put the rags to use.
There were rags of many colors, but every piece was small
I didn't have a coat and it was way down in the fall
Mamma sewed the rags together, sewing every piece with love
She made my coat of many colors that I was so proud of.
While mamma sewed she told a story from the Bible she had read
About a coat of many colors, Joseph wore and then she said
"I hope this coat will bring you, good luck and happiness."
And I just couldn't wait to wear it and mamma blessed it with a kiss.
My coat of many colors that my mamma made for me
Made only from rags, but I wore it so proudly
Although we had no money I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors mamma made for me.
So with patches on my britches, holes in both my shoes
in my coat of many colors, well I hurried off to school
Just to find the others laughin', and makin' fun of me
And my coat of many colors, mamma made for me.
And oh I couldn't understand that, cus' I felt I was rich
And then I told them of the love my mamma sewed in every stitch
I even told them all that story, mamma told me while she sewed
And why my coat of many colors, was worth more than all their clothes.
They didn't understand it and I tried to make them see
One is only poor, only if they choose to be
Oh yeah that's true, we had no money, but I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors, mamma made for me
Made just for me
A 1996 children's picture book of the song, with illustrations by Judith Sutton, was published by Harpercollins Childrens' Books.
In 2012 Parton's recording was added to the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry list of sound recordings that "are culturally, historically, or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States." Here's a version by Shania Twain.