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July 26, 2019

Mindanao faithful honor saint with rare display of piety

The Feast of St. James the Apostle is observed with much display of color and piety in a little town in Mindanao in the southern Philippines.

On July 24, the eve of the feast, thousands of people gather in and around the parish church and form a line to kiss the relics and the image of the saint.

At noon, the faithful bring out the image amid a frenzy of shouting and waving of leaves. "Viva Señor Santiago!" the people shout.

The celebration is a re-enactment of the Spanish-Moorish wars, particularly the mythical Battle of Clavijo in the year 844.

According to legend, Spanish forces made a last stand against the Moors who were later defeated because of the supposedly miraculous apparition of St. James.

Photos by Joe Torres.

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