St. James The Great Day

St. James the Great Day is a holiday that’s observed on July 25th in the Western Church and on April 30th in the Eastern Church. Also known as the Feast of Saint James the Apostle, this day commemorates the patron saint of Spain on the day on which his body was miraculously discovered in Compostela, Spain.

Apostle James was one of the 12 apostles to be recruited by Jesus Christ. Jesus recruited him while he was fishing on the Galilee sea with his brother John. After the death of Jesus, his travels to spread the gospel took him to Spain.

The History of St. James The Great Day

While spreading the gospel of Jesus, St. James was arrested in Grenada. However, he wasn’t held for too long and was soon released. This is when he headed to Galicia. In January of 40 AD, the mother of Jesus, Mary, appeared to James while he was preaching on the bank of the Ebro River.

Mary advised him to return to Jerusalem, which he did in 44 A.D. He would be taken prisoner when he arrived and King Herod Agrippa I would put James to death. This would make him a martyr, and his devotees took his body to be buried at Santiago de Compostela in Galicia.

Some Important Facts About Saint James The Great

Below are a few of the facts that we’ve learned about St. James and would like to now include with this holiday article. We hope that the following factoids will prove useful to anyone wishing to learn more about this saint or his feast day. With that said, let’s take a look at the below facts before we continue with the discussion of St. James the Great Day.

  • Saint James died in 44 CE in Jerusalem.
  • He is also known as James the Greater and James, Son of Zebedee.
  • James is mentioned three times in the gospels.
  • James is credited with bringing Christianity to Spain.
  • The place where James was buried after his death, Santiago de Compostela, is the third most visited site in the world for Christian pilgrims.

Observing St. James The Great Day

In the Eastern Orthodox church, the saints are commemorated as a part of the Eastern Orthodox Liturgical calendar. The saints that are commemorated on April 30th include St. James the Great, Saint Donatus, and Saint Clement the Hymnographer. People also use the hashtag #SaintJamesTheGreatDay on social media to spread the word about this holiday online.

When is it?
This year (2023)
April 30 Sunday
Next year (2024)
April 30 Tuesday
Last year (2022)
April 30 Saturday