St. James The Great Day

St. James the Great Day is a holiday 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 his body was miraculously discovered in Compostela, Spain.

Apostle James was one of the 12 apostles recruited by Jesus Christ. Jesus recruited him while he was fishing on the Sea of Galilee 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 long and was soon released. He then 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 AD. Upon his arrival, he was taken prisoner, and King Herod Agrippa I put James to death. This made 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 facts that we’ve learned about St. James and would like to 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 facts below 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 pilgrimage site in the world for Christians.

Observing St. James The Great Day

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the saints are commemorated as 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 (2024)
April 30 Tuesday
Next year (2025)
April 30 Wednesday
Last year (2023)
April 30 Sunday