Ancient Scripture Discovered in Former Church Employee’s Garage

The Codex Calixtinus, a 12th-Century religious text, was discovered in a locked garage in northern Spain a year after it disappeared from the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral.

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Ornate Letter T depicting Charlemagne. Miniature from the Codex Calixtinus, 12th century. Archive-Library of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Spain

The search for the Codex Calixtinus, a 12thcentury collection of illustrated sermons and liturgical passages, an item heisted from a church near the northwest coast of Spain last year, has resulted in the arrest of the church’s former caretaker, his wife, his son and another woman. But up until this week there was no sign of the Codex itself.

The man, who worked as the caretaker of Santiago de Compostela Cathedral for 25 years before being fired for forging a work contract, came under intense police scrutiny that led officials to locate about $1.5 million in cash, a key to various church buildings, eight copies of the Codex and other medieval-era books and writings hidden among garages, houses and storage rooms on property the man owned near the church.

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The Codex, , an ancient five-volume work that explained to pilgrims the best route to get to the cathedral, along with songs to sing and passages to read is considered one of Spain’s most important religious and cultural pieces. It was discovered the day after Wednesday’s arrest as police, still searching in outbuildings located near the church, found the “priceless” in a locked garage near the church property.

The Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, which is also the final stop in the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage and reported home of James the Greater (one of Jesus Christ’s 12 apostles), had kept the Codex in a safe deposit box; it normally displays a replica of the document under glass.

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