Saint James the Greater
Jul 09, 2015 / Written by: America Needs Fatima
Feast July 25
James the Greater was the son of Zebedee and Salome, one of the women at the tomb on Easter morning, (Matt.27:56, Mark 15:40, 16:1) and the brother of John – probably the elder of the two.
He is called “the greater” to distinguish him from James the Lesser, who was probably shorter in stature.
There is evidence in Scriptures that these two brothers were cousins of the Lord, which may explain Our Lord entrusting His mother to John as He was dying.
Both James and John were probably of a fiery temperament for which they were called “sons of thunder.” They once wished to call fire upon a city, for which Our Lord rebuked them. (Luke 9:51-6)
James was one of the first apostles called by Jesus, and was one of the three selected to witness His transfiguration.
James was apostle in Iberia, in the region of present-day Spain.
Ancient tradition ascertains that when praying one night in the year 40, the Virgin Mother, then still living, appeared to him on the banks of the River Ebro to encourage him in his difficult mission.
She was accompanied by a multitude of angels who bore with them a marble pillar on top of which was a small statue of her holding the Child Jesus.
She bid James build a shrine where the pillar was to be placed, which he did, the first shrine dedicated to the Mother of God on earth.
Today, the sacred pillar, still in the same spot, is enshrined in the great Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar in Zaragoza.
James returned to Judea after this apparition, and was the first apostle to suffer martyrdom. He died by the sword in Jerusalem at the command of Herod Agrippa in the year 44.
His relics rest in the city of Compostela in northern Spain, the final destination of the famous pilgrims of the “Camino de Compostela.”