Saint James The Great (Festivity)
Saint James’ Day is Celebrated in La Antigua and many cities in the Spanish América, on July 25.
Saint James, is one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus. He is also called James the Greater or James the Great.
James, the son of Zebedee, is the patron saint of Spaniards, and as such is often identified as Santiago. Common symbols of St James include a traveler’s hat and a scallop shell.
Also known as Santiago Matamoros
A later tradition states that he miraculously appeared to fight for the Christian army during the legendary battle of Clavijo against the moors in 844 and was henceforth called Santiago Matamoros (Saint James the Moor-slayer). As they went into battle they raised for the first time the war cry, “May God and St. James help us!”. The story inspired a new iconographic type in which the saint is represented on horseback (white horse), bearing a white banner, brandishing a sword, sometimes with defeated enemies at the horse’s feet.
In Spanish America, the iconography of St. James was used in the Spanish colonization of the Americas, as a rival force to the indigenous Gods and protector of Spaniards. He was depicted as a “conquistador”, therefore, many cities in America are called Santiago, and they have Santiago as their Patron Saint: Santiago de Cuba, Santiago de Chile, Santiago de Guatemala (Today, La Antigua Guatemala).
As a Patron Saint of La Antigua Guatemala, sports, religious and cultural activities will be held in his honor.
For more information about this activities, click on the link below.