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St James sanctuary in Capizzi

  • Address
    Piazza Umberto I 19, Capizzi , Italy
  • Web
  • Visiting Hours
    For pilgrims from 8:00 to 12:00
  • What to see
    St James the Apostle


The Sanctuary of San Giacomo Apostolo Maggiore, located in Piazza San Giacomo in Capizzi, represents the oldest and most fundamental Jacobean site on the island of Sicily. The church, declared a “Diocesan Sanctuary” by the Bishop of Patti in 1999, has its roots in Norman times and is mentioned as early as 1227 in a bull of Pope Gregory IX. It underwent significant expansions under Aragonese rule in 1282, going from one nave to three naves in the 16th century.

The Sanctuary achieved great notoriety in 1420 when the Aragonese knight Sancio De Heredia deposited sacred relics, including a fragment of the true Holy Cross, at the site. However, in 1435, these relics were moved to Messina due to rivalry with the Cathedral of Messina. Despite this transfer, the Sanctuary of San Giacomo has maintained its importance and was completed in 1740 with contributions from local families, most notably the Emanuele family. The church houses a rich collection of paintings, altars dedicated to various saints and a bell tower with six bells.

Over the centuries, the Sanctuary has witnessed significant events and has been a pilgrimage destination, consolidating its position as a spiritual landmark on the Way of St. James in Sicily.


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