Catholics celebrate one of Jesus’ first disciples on July 25.
On July 25, Catholics all across the world will gather together to mark one of the most important dates in the religious calendar: the feast day of Saint James the Great[/tweetit].
Today is the Feast of St. James[/tweetthis]
Saint James the Great is a significant figure in Christianity because he was one of Jesus’ first disciples. While little is known of James’ early life, he was the brother of John the Apostle, and before being called by Jesus, he worked with his brother and father as a fisherman.
When Jesus came to the shores of the Sea of Galilee, the fishermen had been unable to catch anything all day. When Jesus told them to cast their nets for the last time, though, they caught so many fish that their boat almost sank. Following this, James and John abandoned their former lives to become the first of Jesus’ apostles.
James was also one of only three apostles called to witness Jesus’ Transfiguration. In addition, his is the only martyrdom recorded in the New Testament, and he is traditionally seen as the first of the martyred apostles.
July 25 is a particularly important date in Spain. As well as being home to a huge number of Catholics, Saint James the Great is also the patron saint of Spain, making the day a public holiday in some parts of the country. According to legend, he travelled to Spain to preach for almost 40 years, before returning to Jerusalem and executed by King Herod Agrippa. His body was then northwest of Spain and buried in the town of Compostela.