Apostle Saint James (Santiago)
James the Great -Santiago- (also known as James, son of Zebedee, Saint James the Great, or The Elder) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament. James is described as one of the first disciples to join Jesus. Saint James is the patron saint of Spain and, according to tradition, his remains are held in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia.
Saint James the Elder is one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ. Brother of John, the Evangelist, he is the son of Zebedee and Mary Salome. Along with Peter and John, he belongs to the group of three privileged disciples who were admitted by Jesus into the important moments of his life, such as his agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and during his Transfiguration. According to the Acts of the Apostles, Saint James was the first Apostle to become a martyr by being beheaded by Herod Agrippa in the year 43 in Jerusalem. The tradition narrates how his body was taken by sea to Galicia and was buried in a forest, which today is the site of the Cathedral.
In the New Testament, James is described as one of the first disciples to join Jesus. The Synoptic Gospels state that James and John were with their father by the seashore when Jesus called them to follow him. James was one of only three apostles whom Jesus selected to bear witness to his Transfiguration. James and John (or, in another tradition, their mother) asked Jesus to grant them seats on his right and left in his glory. Jesus accepted rebuked them, and the other apostles were annoyed with them. James and his brother wanted to call down fire on a Samaritan town. The Acts of the Apostles records that "Herod the king" (traditionally identified with Herod Agrippa) had James executed.
Saint James is the patron saint of Spain and, according to legend, his remains are held in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. The traditional pilgrimage known as “El Camino de Santiago” (Way of St. James), has been the most popular pilgrimage for Western European Catholics from the Early Middle Ages onwards, although its modern revival and popularity stems from Walter Starkie's 1957 book, The Road to Santiago.
The feast day of St. James is celebrated on the 25th of July. The national day of Galicia is also celebrated on this day, as St James is its patron saint.