Santiago del Nuevo Extremo was named by the Spanish conquistadors after Santiago de Compostela, the city in Spain where the mortal remains of St. James rest under the altar of the local Cathedral. The word “Santiago” is the modern form of Sant Yago, where “Yago” is the old Spanish form of Jacob or James.
Early chronicles suggested that after his death, Saint James’ remains were transported from Jerusalem to the northern coast of Spain where they were buried contra mare Britannicum, “close to the British sea.” The location of the tomb, however, remained a mystery until, centuries later, in about 814, the tomb was rediscovered under miraculous circumstances. According to legend, a local monk named Pelayo was guided by a star to a secluded spot in the woods near the Galician coast. There he discovered a marble sarcophagus that contained human bones, apparently very old. Bishop Teodomir, the local bishop, proclaimed the remains to be those of Saint James, long believed to have been buried in the region. After learning of the discovery, King Alfonso II journeyed to the site to venerate the relics and ordered that a church be built on the spot. The modest church established by King Alfonso II later grew into the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela (Field of the Star) the ultimate destination of pilgrims traveling the Way of Saint James. [Reliquarian, The Way of Saint James: Pilgrimage to the Tomb of a “Son of Thunder”]
That is the story of the name of beautiful Santiago de Chile, destined to be the new “end of the world,” the western limit of the Spanish Empire, the nation that –in happier times– took the light of the Catholic faith and Spanish civilization to millions living around the globe.
That was then, this is now.
Presently, Chile is enduring a violent attack by hordes of mainly Communist militants. Those have managed to drag a significant part of the local population into rioting and pillaging. The rioting explodes in various parts of the city at coordinated times and places. Their objective is to force the deployment of limited numbers of law enforcement personnel across a wide area. This is a well planned, well organized attack believed by some to be led and executed by Cuban and Venezuelan nationals infiltrated into the country over a long period of time.
Going back to the 1960’s, when the Soviet KGB was implementing the infiltration of the Church in Latin America through the so called Theology of Liberation, the techniques to create all kinds of social chaos were already being developed and perfected. The riots in Chile are the realization of those early plans. What the Soviets could not destroy militarily, they set out to destroy by social upheaval.
I have been informed that the Chilean hierarchy of the Catholic Church, by now well soaked in the political left’s ideology, ordered the local churches to remain open to allow “the people” to assemble safely there to plan further activities.
Little did they know that the vandals were not going to congregate peacefully in the centenarian churches of Santiago. They did not come in to have tea, they were bent on destruction, pillage, and profanation. The fact that a good number of priests and bishops, or even the Pope, were sympathetic to their ideas never even crossed their minds. Priests were abused and beaten, images destroyed, walls and altars defaced with blasphemous graffiti. The crowds came prepared with pro-abortion, anti-Church signs. Churches were torched or otherwise utterly destroyed.
Those events reminded me of an anecdote that circulated in the 1960’s that went more or less like this:
During the 1917 Revolution in Russia, troops loyal to Lenin overtook a certain town where the local priest sympathized with the revolt. Disregarding the priest’s political leanings, the revolutionaries dragged him out of the local church and took him prisoner. The priest protested that he had collaborated with the revolution, that he was one of them but the Soviet commander responded: “If you were not loyal to God, you are not going to be loyal to us.” The priest was shot along with the village authorities.
The time has come to prove that the early infiltration of the Church by the Soviets, and the creation of Liberation Theology were all part of a single plan to destroy the Catholic Church from the inside. The Catholic hierarchy in Chile is learning that lesson now.
Those who see these events in the light of Holy Tradition and Scripture, recognize that God is delivering the unfaithful to the hands of their enemies. All those slogans like “this is everyone’s house” and “let us walk together,” etc. all that dreadful ” kum ba yah ” will not save their traitorous hides.
At your rebuke, O God of Jacob, both rider and horse lay stunned. But you indeed are awesome! Who can stand before you once your anger is roused? From the heavens you uttered judgement; the earth feared and stood still when God rose up to establish judgement, to save all the oppressed of the earth. (Psalm 76:6-9)