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
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.
Join us on