Saint James the Greater (the Apostle) (son of Zebedee)
Jacobus de Oudere
Jakobus der Altere
James the Elder
James the More
James the son of Zebedee
James, son of Zebedee
Santiago de Espana
Son of Thunder
Born: Bethsaida, Judea, Roman Empire
Died: 44 A.D. in Jerusalem, Judea, Roman Empire
Stabbed with a sword by King Herod Agrippa I in 44
Legend says his body was taken by angels and sailed in a rudderless, unattended boat to Spain where a massive rock closed around it
Relics at Compostela, Spain
Venerated: All of Christianity
Feast Day: July 25 (Western Christianity)
April 30 (Eastern Christianity)
December 30 (Hispanic Church)
Patronages: Against Arthritis
Diocese of Bangued, Philippines
Archdiocese of Seattle, Washington
Hettstedt, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
Loiza, Puerto Rico
Jemez Indian Pueblo
Tesuque Indian Pueblo
Pilgrim with wallet and staff
Dark Bearded man holding a book
Dark Bearded man holding a sword
Dark Bearded man holding a scroll
Dark Bearded man with a floppy Pilgrim's hat, long staff, water bottle and scallop shell
Elderly Bearded man wearing a hat with a scallop shell
Long Cape, Man mounted on horseback, trampling a Moor
Man holding the long staff of a pilgrim from which a wallet or gourd of water is suspended
This Saint is usually called "the Greater" in order to distinguish him from the other Apostle James, the "brother" of the Lord, who is called "the Less." He was the brother of Saint John the Evangelist (sons of Zebedee and Salome) and came from Bethsaida in Galilee, where his father owned a fishing boat.
The two youths were fishing with their father when Jesus came by and invited them to follow him. They became such dedicated and zealous followers that our Lord styled them Boanerges, or sons of thunder. They were present at the cure of Saint Peter's mother-in-law, the raising of Jairus' daughter, and the Transfiguration, and were near Christ in His Agony in the garden.
One day their mother asked Jesus to assure a place of honor for her sons in His future Kingdom. When He asked if they were able to bear the cup of His sufferings, their answer was typical of them: indeed they could! And indeed they did!
After the dispersion of the Apostles, Saint James preached the Gospel in Spain and then returned to Jerusalem, where he was the first of the Apostles to drink the cup of Christ's sufferings. By order of Herod Agrippa he was beheaded at Jerusalem around the feast of Easter, in the year 44.
PRAYER: Almighty, ever-living God, through the blood of Saint James, You consecrated the first fruits of the ministry of Your Apostles. Grant that Your Church may be strengthened by his confession and always enjoy his patronage. Amen.
NEXT PAGE - About Saint Joan of Arc