The Life of Saint James the Greater who is St. James the Apostle

James the Apostle St. James Major


St. James the Greater was one of the disciples of Jesus Christ, the son of Zebedee, and the brother of John the Apostle. St. James the Greater is duly named to distinguish him from St. James the Less. It is also thought that Saint James the Greater and his brother John were one of the three apostles to have seen Jesus' transfiguration. St. James the Greater is also the first apostle have been martyred by execution in 44 A.D.

St. James the Great began his journey with Jesus after a fruitless night of fishing, where Jesus, followed by Simon and Andrew had stopped, and urged James and his brother John to follow him. Jesus gave Saint James the Great the mission to spread the good news, with the authority to cast out demons and heal people. He was also one of the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ.

The life of St. James the Greater is the patron saint of Spain, where his remains have been placed in the holy town of Santiago de Compostela. Interestingly, there is a pilgrimage to St. James the Great's gravesite, known as the Way of Saint James. He has subsequently become one of the patron saints of pilgrimage.

Saint James the apostle also has a feast day celebrated on July 25th on the Roman Catholic, Anglican and some Protestant church liturgical calendars. However, on St. James the Greater is celebrated on April 30th on the Orthodox Christian liturgical calendar. In essence, those churches who follow the traditional Julian calendar.

It is thought that St. James the Great appeared to fight with the Christians during the battle of Clavijo during the Reconquista. There is also a saying that St. James the Moorslayer has been given to Spain for its patron and protection. St. James the Greater has an emblem that is a scallop shell and people would wear the symbol on their clothes and hats.

Explorers from Spain have spread the name of Saint James the Great by bringing Christianity to different countries, such as Kongo. Eventually St. James day became a holiday in Kongo where taxes are collected and men who are to report for military duty, do so on this day. There were also celebrations in honor of Saint James the Greater.

St. James held a special place with Jesus, however when Jesus was crucified, St. James was one of the apostles that fled and truly did not understand his power and authority, which St. James received reprimand from Jesus for being unforgiving and having a vengeful disposition with his power.

 

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