St. James (in Spanish, Santiago) is the patron of Spain. His feastday is July 25. The feast falls on a Sunday 14 times every century, giving rise to 14 holy years. Next year’s celebration will be the second Jacobeo Holy Year of the third millennium.
Archbishop Julián Barrio in a press conference Monday invited the faithful of Spain, all of Europe and of other continents to “make a pilgrimage to the tomb of the Apostle [James] to confess faith in the Risen Christ and to receive the abundance of divine mercy as a manifestation of the love of God for each person.”
The prelate also presented a pastoral letter titled, “Pilgrims of Faith and Witnesses of the Risen Christ.” The letter will serve as a type of itinerary for pilgrims to Santiago. It focuses on the experience of the disciples on the road to Emmaus.
Tradition holds that the Apostle James evangelized Spain and his tomb is in Santiago de Compostela.
One of the principal events of the year will be a pilgrimage with the World Youth Day cross in August. World Youth Day will be held in Madrid, Spain, in 2011.