Saint James the Greater ~ The Beholder of the First Apparition of Mary

James, John, and Peter with Jesus at Gethsemane

Saint James the Greater, the older brother of John the Evangelist, is known as a patron saint for pilgrims on spiritual journeys due to the great Camino de Santiago de Compostela.  This Camino is a hiking trail that stretches across northern Spain, ending at the Cathedral holding the tomb of St. James.

St. James the Pilgrim

St. James the Greater also experienced the first apparition of Mary.  She was actually still alive at the time and bi-located to see and give encouragement to James, who was evangelizing in Spain.  Because she appeared to St. James on a pillar carried by angels, one of her many titles is Our Lady of the Pillar.  There is a beautiful cathedral in Zaragosa, Spain (the location of the apparition) named after Our Lady of the Pillar.

Our Lady of the Pillar

The Life of Saint James the Greater

The Feast of St. James the Greater is July 25.

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The Feast of Our Lady of the Pillar is October 12.
(When Columbus landed at the New World, he noted that it was the Feast of Our Lady of the Pillar and so dedicated the new-found land to Mary.)