The Apostle St. James was one of the three most intimate friends among the Apostles of Jesus Christ. It is highly probable that he was related to Jesus, because his mother was a relative of the Virgin Mary.

James was a very vehement, spirited and enthusiastic man who became a very courageous messenger of the Word of Jesus Christ. Thus transmitting to all whom he encountered the most important news for humanity: “Death has been defeated, Jesus Christ has been resurrected”. Preaching this he arrived from Jerusalem to this land, the end of the world (Santiago). He then went back to the Holy Land and it was there that he was captured and executed under the reign of King Agripa I.

In order to offer him an honorable burial, his disciples brought his remains back to what today is known as the city of Santiago de Compostela. 

His Shrine has been a stronger voice than all of his preaching during his lifetime. His life was a testimony of service to the announcement of the Christian message that allowed the seed of faith to grow. It is for this reason that approaching St. James means to approach God; it is a general characteristic of every pilgrim and of the Way. This is how a fellow pilgrim came to understand his pilgrimage.
Source: Office of the Pilgrim, Santiago