This small painted-plaster statue is the image of Saint James, one of Jesus' apostles. It copies a huge statue in a church in Santiago, Spain, supposedly built over the relics of James, son of Zebedee (Santiago, incidentally, means "Saint James"). The church is at the end of a famous pilgrimage route, the subject of Shirley MacLaine's book, "The Camino" (2000). Pilgrims stand in line to hug the neck of the figure and thus hope to obtain good luck or perhaps to secure a healing or other miracle.
Digital image copyright 2014 Images in this collection are not to be used for any commercial purposes without the expressed written permission of the Center for Inquiry and Dr. Joe Nickell. Patrons of this digital museum are free to utilize materials from the museum for non-commercial and educational purposes.