Spanish King calls on Saint James for help

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Spanish King calls on Saint James for help

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The King and Queen of Spain have visited Santiago de Compostela for a special church service to celebrate the pilgrimage city’s Holy Year.

King Juan Carlos used the occasion to ask Spain’s patron saint to lead the country out of its severe economic crisis.

He also pleaded formally for an end to what he called the ‘barbarism of terrorism’.

Juan Carlos said: “I beg you (Saint James) to help us overcome the difficulties that touch all our lives and to solve as soon as possible the grave economic crisis that we face.”

It was a symbolic royal visit for Holy Year, which only occurs when St James Day falls on a Sunday.

The King also put in a word for the idea of a united and diverse Spain, mindful of regional and separatist tensions.

Dozens of bishops and archbishops from all over the country also attended the ceremony.

Each year tens of thousands of Catholic pilgrims follow the thousand-year-old Way of St James to the northwestern city, where legend has it the apostle is buried.