St. James, the Great
"Son of Thunder"

St. James was one of the sons of Zebedee and was the brother of John, the "Beloved Disciple." He was one of the original Twelve Disciples. He was a fisherman and, along with John, left his father and his fishing nets when the Lord Jesus called him. He was one of the three apostles who witnessed the Lord's greatest mysteries: the Lord's Transfiguration on Mt. Tabor, and the agony in the Garden of Gethsemany before His Passion.

After being present at the Lord's Crucifiction, Resurrection, and Ascension, St. James was present in the Upper Room on the great day of Pentecost. After receiving the Holy Spirit, he went as far as Spain to preach the gospel, visiting various places on his way there and back. When he returned, there was a violent quarrel that broke out between St. James and the Jews over the Holy Scriptures. The Jews, unable to withstand him, hired Hermogenes, a magician, to overcome him. However, Hermogenes and his pupil, Philip, were themselves converted by the Truth preached by James, and were baptised!

After this, the Jews denounced James before Herod, persuading a man named Josias to slander St. James. But Josias, after seeing James' manly bearing and hearing the clear truth from his mouth, was also converted to the Truth and was baptised! This same Josias was condemned to death with James. when they mounted the scaffold, Josias begged James' forgiveness for the sin of slander, and James embraced him and kissed him. St. James told him "Peace be to thee, and forgiveness." They laid their heads uner the sword and were beheaded for the sake of the Lord whom they had loved and served.

St. James suffered in Jerusalem in the year 45. His body was taken to Spain and even to the present day miracles of healing occur at his tomb.

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  Added 8/99
revised 6/2000

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