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María Magdalena Basilica of pilgrims

The origin of Santa Maria Magdalena Basilica is linked with the attendance of pilgrims on the St. James´ Way. Specifically, one of the functions of the Basilica, as in other towns of Gipuzkoa, was of a hospital. The performance of this role, in the middle Ages, was of vital importance. It was a refuge for the infected by the evil of Saint Lazar, that is, it made as leper hospital.

Its existence goes back in the mid-14th century. It was erected in publics grounds, in a location away from the fortified area ot the town, in one of the suburbs that give access to the port of Pasaia. However, as the population grew, the Basilica was fully integrated in the urban area. At the beginning of the 17th century, the Basilica ceased to make the tasks of an hospital or a refuge for poor, and that marked the beginning of its progressive and continuous decline. In 1886, once acquired its current appearance, the Basilica did not return to suffer significant performances until after nearly 120 years. Since the XX century, many works of restoration and sanitation were made due to it important accused deterioration.

The pilgrims of St James's did not go only to this center to search the cure. There are documents which tell us that, in addition to the pilgrims, lepers of Errenteria and also other peoples of Gipuzkoa, even of Navarre, were attended in this Basilica. The tradition was that everyone came into the Basilica through a door and, once healed, come out from the other door. Afterwards, they went to the Basilica in search of healing, mothers with children affected by the evil mouth or canker sore. However, because of their great vocation, the residents used to go to this Basilica with all kinds of requests, so there were always in the Basilica lit candles.

In the Middle Ages St. James´ way formed with Rome and Jerusalem one of the pilgrimages star. At that time, the Basilica was an eminently sanitary avocation, basing its hospitable character in the unguent-trade that Maria Magdalena tried to apply on the corpse of Jesus Christ, on the morning of his resurrection. The transcendent fact and summit of the Christianity, the resurrection, had as its first witness to the Galilee Magdalena. Maria Magdalena is the first person that sees, according to the scripture, how Jesus appears after be resurrected and she announced to the apostles that the aventurano had ended and that the death had not silenced the resurrected prophet's words.

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