Saint James the Lesser Biography

Saint James the Less St. James Son of Alphaeus

St. James the Less is often confused with St. James the Greater. However, St. James born to Mary, who was thought to be a sister or close relative of Jesus' Mother Mary, was sometimes referred to as Jesus' brother. Saint James the Less was also an Apostle, who wrote the first Catholic Epistle. St. James is the son of Alphaeus, which is also the name of the father of Matthew the Evangelist found in the book of Mark in the Bible. It is possible that St. James the Lesser is the brother of Matthew but other than their fathers having the same name, there is no other connection mentioned in the Bible.

Being a pillar of the early church, it is thought that St. James the Less witnessed the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is also attributed to being a consult of St. Paul about the Gospel. St. James the Less was considered to be the first Bishop of Jerusalem and was martyred in the spring of 62 A.D. He was thrown from the pinnacle of the Temple, stoned and beaten to death by a club all the while praying for his attackers. The club subsequently became the symbol used when depicting the life of St. James the Lesser.

As the author of the Epistle, St. James addresses himself as though he is talking to more than just Jewish Christians, and felt it was his burden as a spiritual father to let others know the difficulties and temptations that they face by being surrounded with paganism, and his attempt to guide and direct Christians in their faith.

There is still some confusion about the St. James the Less, who is mentioned three times in the Bible, which was in direct connection with his mother in the book of Mark, and James, son of Alphaeus four times in the New Testament alongside that of the twelve apostles. However, James, son of Zebedee is among the twelve disciples and known as James the Greater. The conclusion is that the identity of St. James the Less is accepted by the early church leaders, while modern Biblical scholars are still torn with his identity.

Another possibility is that Saint James the Less is James the Just,
who was thought to be the brother or relative of Jesus, having served for 30 years as head of the Church of Jerusalem and who was also killed in 62 A.D.

Life of Saint James the Lesser,
was about teaching Christians about the trials and tribulations that they will endure in an age of paganism. His efforts eventually ended his life, but he died in the name of the Lord.


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