The Feast of St. James the Apostle is celebrated yearly on July 25. Saint James alongside his brother, John were sons of Zebedee and part of the first four Apostles chosen by Jesus. James the Great or James the Greater (due to his greater size or the age difference between him and James The Lesser). The day is Galicia day as Saint James is the patron saint of Galicia and Spain. It is believed his remains are in the Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. The day is set aside to celebrate one of the most important saints in Spain.
History of Feast of St. James
Apostle James was one of the first of the 12 apostles to be recruited by Jesus. He was recruited by Jesus while fishing on the sea of Galilee with his younger brother, John. He was called to help spread the gospel and together with Peter, Andrew and John. James formed the inner circle of Jesus. He was also one of the three people to witness the transfiguration of Jesus, the agony at Gethsemane, and the raising to life of the daughter of Jairus.
After Jesus was put to death and ascended into heaven, his apostles moved far and wide to spread the gospel and James’ travels took him to Spain. Unfortunately, his preaching was not received with open arms, and he was arrested in Grenada. He was soon released and he took his message to Galicia.
In January 40 A.D., James was preaching the gospel on the bank of the Ebro river, a river of the north and northeast of the Iberian Peninsula in Spain that flows into the Mediterranean Sea. While he was there, Mary the mother of Jesus, appeared to him on a pillar and advised him to return to Jerusalem once the Church had been built. The pillar remains today and is placed at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar in Zaragoza, Spain.
James returned to Jerusalem in 44 A.D. and was taken prisoner upon his arrival under the rule of King Herod Agrippa I. The king put James to death, making him a martyr, and his body was taken by his devotees and was buried at the Santiago de Compostela in Galicia.
Feast of St. James timeline
James alongside his brother becomes part of Jesus’ 12 apostles.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, appears to James and tells him to return to Jerusalem.
James returns to Jerusalem and is put to death, thus becoming a martyr.
Today, the Feast of Saint James the Apostle is celebrated in Spain and countries worldwide.
Feast of St. James FAQs
Who Was The Last Apostle To Die?
John the beloved was the last apostle to die. He was also the only one to die of natural causes, although there is still some argument on how true these claims are.
Who Was The Mother Of Saint James?
Salome was married to Zebedee and was the mother of Saint James.
When Was Saint James’ Grave Rediscovered?
His tomb was rediscovered in 814 A.D. by Pelagius the Hermit.
How to Observe Feast of St. James
Visit the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar
Pay a pilgrimage visit to the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar in Zaragoza, Spain. This will be a truly spiritually enriching experience.
Say a prayer
Celebrate the day by saying a prayer. Today will be the perfect day to make a prayer dedicated to Saint James the Greater.
Preach the gospel
Commemorate the day by preaching the gospel. Anyone who would lend an ear to listen should be attended to.
The First 5 Apostles Of Jesus
The Apostle Simon
He is popularly known by the name Peter. He became the first Pope of the church.
The Apostle Andrew
He was chosen alongside his brother Simon and is considered to be the second apostle.
The Apostle James
He was also chosen while fishing with his brother and father and became Jesus’ third apostle.
The Apostle John
He is known as John the Beloved and was the fourth apostle of Jesus.
The Apostle Philip
He was the fifth apostle of Jesus and he preached in Greece, Syria, and Phrygia.
Why Feast of St. James is Important
The day enriches us spirituality.
Celebrating the day helps us build our spirituality. Seeing how someone lived his life, despite the challenges he faced helps us be closer to our spirituality.
It increases our knowledge.
When days like the Feast of Saint James the Apostle come up, we tend to go find out more about the day. Since no knowledge is wasted, learning more about a person like Saint James is a positive experience.
It shows appreciation for good works.
A day life the Feast of Saint James the Apostle shows us the good things that people do for others. While not many can do what Saint James did, it’s good to appreciate those who can.
Feast of St. James dates