Why is Saint James the Patron Saint of La Antigua Guatemala?

Rudy Giron: AntiguaDailyPhoto.com &emdash; Santiago Emblem Bucaro Fountain

La Antigua Guatemala used to be the capital city of Guatemala (which meant the Central American territories at the time) and at the time its name was La Muy Noble y Muy Leal Ciudad de Santiago de los Caballeros de Guatemala, or The Very Noble and Very Loyal City of Saint James of the Knights of Guatemala. Santiago was a very popular name for the conquistadors to use as they rechristen the new lands of the American continent. One could probably find about 60 towns with the Santiago name, just in Guatemala.

Here’s some Saint James Trivia to Celebrate Día de Santiago in Antigua Guatemala:

The name “James” in English comes from “Iacobus” (Jacob) in Latin. In eastern Spain, Jacobus became “Jacome” or “Jaime”; in Catalunya, it became Jaume, in western Iberia it became “Sant’Iago”, which developed into Tiago in Portugal and Galicia; Tiago developed into Diego, which is also the Spanish name of Saint Didacus of Alcalá. James’s emblem was the scallop shell (or “cockle shell”), and pilgrims to his shrine often wore that symbol on their hats or clothes. The French for a scallop is coquille St. Jacques, which means “cockle (or mollusk) of St James”. The German word for a scallop is Jakobsmuschel, which means “mussel (or clam) of St James”; the Dutch word is Jacobsschelp, meaning “shell of St James”. (source Wikipedia)

© 2013, Rudy Girón. All rights reserved.

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  • Raúl

    Santiago apóstol, aka Santiago el Mayor es el patrón de España. He is a military saint; armed with a sword and riding a war horse, he joined the spanish troops in combat against the muslims during the reconquista, and even joined the “conquistadores” in battle against native americans. That is why so many colonial cities have that name.
    Nice blog!

    • Thanks Raúl for the explanation.

  • Pablo Josué Estrada Letona

    sólo para decirte que tu foto de la fontaba está preciosa! la quiero en un poster!