Saint James the Great (T.G.) is observed annually on July 25 in Australia. The holiday celebrates the life and achievements of Saint James, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus and the patron saint of Spain.
History of St James TG
According to the New Testament, Saint James was the first apostle to be martyred. He also witnessed the transfiguration of Christ, so he was considered one of the inner circle of Jesus’ followers. In addition, St. James is significant as he is the only apostle whose martyrdom is recorded in the Bible. Luke writes in Acts 12:2 that James was executed by the sword by order of King Herod Agrippa I of Judaea in A.D. 44. His remains are held in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, according to tradition.
The feast day of James the Great in the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the life of Jesus’ disciple. A pilgrimage referred to as the “Way of St. James” is made to his grave on the holiday. It has been one of the most popular pilgrimages made by Western European Catholics. The pilgrimage began in the Early Middle Ages. Yet, the number of pilgrims slowly fell over the ensuing decades. However, Walter Starkie’s book “The Road to Santiago,” published in 1957, re-sparked the public’s interest in the pilgrimage, making it more popular than ever.
When July 25 falls on a Sunday, the year is considered holy, and a special east door is opened for entrance into the Santiago Cathedral. For example, 2004 was a Holy Year, and about 179,944 pilgrims made the pilgrimage that year. These people completed the final 62-mile walk to Santiago. When the 2010 Holy Year came around, the number of pilgrims had risen to 272,412. The next holy year will be in 2027.
St James TG timeline
James is born in Galilee, Palestine.
King Herod Agrippa I of Judaea orders St. James to be beheaded.
The hermit named Pelagius sees strange lights in the sky that guide him to St. James’s tomb.
Pope Alexander VI declares the Way of St. James as one of the “three great pilgrimages of Christendom.”
St James TG FAQs
Where in the Bible is St. James mentioned?
James the Great was mentioned in all four Gospels.
When did the Way of St. James become a major pilgrimage route?
From the 10th century onwards, the Way of St. James became a major pilgrimage route.
Which miracles did St. James perform?
St. James has been thought to cure a paralytic man.
How to Observe St James TG
Learn about St. James
You can do some research to learn more about St. James the Great. You can start by reading a biography of his life.
Share the holiday
You can have some fun sharing the holiday with your friends and family. They’ll also learn about St. James.
Learn about Australia
Australia is an amazing country. It has some of the world's largest deserts and a rich culture. You could spend your time learning about Australia's uniqueness on the holiday.
5 Interesting Facts About Australia
Australia has high mountains
Mount Kosciuszko is the highest mountain in Australia, standing at 7,310 ft.
There is a mountain range
The longest mountain range in Australia is the Great Dividing Range, stretching over 2,175 miles.
It has the largest sandstone rock
Uluru or Ayers Rock is the largest sandstone rock in the world.
There are long rivers
The Murray River is the longest river in Australia, reaching 1,558 miles.
It hosts the Great Barrier Reef
The biggest coral reef system in the world is the Great Barrier Reef in eastern Australia.
Why St James TG is Important
He mended nets
The New Testament first mentions St.James mending nets with his father, Zebedee. It’s amazing to think that someone who started as a simple mender of nets could become renowned in world history as a saint.
He evangelized Spain
It is believed St. James evangelized Spain as he is the country’s patron saint. This shows the dedication and devotion that only a saint could have.
He helped people
St. James is known to have helped many people during his time. We love altruism and anything to do with helping your fellow man.
St James TG dates