Feast of St James

Today is the Feast of St James, brother of St John the Evangelist. He is also known as James the Greater. He is not to be confused by the other Apostle named James, son of Alphaeus. He was called alongside his brother St John by Jesus as they mended their nets with their father Zebedee. (St Mark 1:19-20).
St James alongside St Peter and St John were the only Apostles that witnessed the Transfiguration, the raising of Jairus’s daughter and were permitted to be close to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
It was also St James’s mother who asked Jesus that her sons sit at his right and left hand in his glory and it was St James along with St John who asked Jesus “Lord do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them( the Samaritans) in Luke 9:45-55.
St James was apparently the first to be martyred among the Apostles. We read in the Acts of the Apostles 12:1-3 “About that time King Herod (Agrippa) laid hands upon some members of the Church to harm them. He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword and when he saw that this was pleasing to the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also”. St James was martyred circa 44 AD. St James is the Patron Saint of Spain and there is a Basilica in Santiago de Compostela
Pope Benedict XVI: General Audience 21st June 2006
“Consequently, we can learn much from St James’s promptness in accepting the Lord’s call even when he asks us to leave the boat of our human securities, enthusiasm in following him on the paths that he indicates to us over and above any deceptive presumption of our own, readiness to witness to him with courage, if necessary to the point of making the supreme sacrifice of life.
Thus, James the Greater stands before us as an eloquent example of generous adherence to Christ. He, who initially had requested, through his mother, to be seated with his brother next to the Master in his Kingdom, was precisely the first to drink the chalice of the passion and to share martyrdom with the Apostles”

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.