James the Great

James the Great, also known as James, son of Zebedee or as Saint James the Greater (Aramaic: ܝܥܩܘܒ ܒܪ ܙܒܕܝ; Arabic: يعقوب; Hebrew: בן זבדי

יַעֲקֹב, Yaʿăqōḇ; Latin: Iacobus Maximus; Greek: Ἰάκωβος; died AD 44), was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, the first to be martyred according to the New Testament. Saint James is the patron saint of Spain and, according to tradition, his remains are held in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia.

One of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus
“St. Jacob” and “St James the Great” redirect here. For other uses, see St. Jacob (disambiguation) and St James the Great (disambiguation).

James the Great

Saint James the Great by Guido Reni
Apostle
Born Bethsaida, Galilee, Roman Empire
Died AD 44
Jerusalem, Judea, Roman Empire
Canonized Pre-Congregation
Feast 25 July (Western Christianity)
30 April (Eastern Christianity)
30 December (Hispanic Church)
Attributes Red Martyr, Scallop, Pilgrim’s hat
Patronage Places
Spain, Guatemala, Seattle, Nicaragua, Guayaquil, Betis Church, Guagua, Pampanga, Badian, Buhay Na Tubig, Imus, Paete, Laguna, Sogod, Cebu, Philippines and some places of Mexico.
Professions
Veterinarians, equestrians, furriers, tanners, pharmacists, oyster fishers, woodcarvers.

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The son of Zebedee and Salome, James is styled “the Greater” to distinguish him from the Apostle James “the Less”, with greater meaning older or taller, rather than more important. James the Great was the brother of John the Apostle.[1]

James is described as one of the first disciples to join Jesus. The Synoptic Gospels state that James and John were with their father by the seashore when Jesus called them to follow him.[Matt. 4:21–22][Mk. 1:19–20] James was one of only three apostles whom Jesus selected to bear witness to his Transfiguration.[Matthew 17:1–9][Mark 9:2–8][Luke 9:28–36] James and John[Mark 10:35–45] (or, in another tradition, their mother[Matthew 20:20–28]) asked Jesus to grant them seats on his right and left in his glory. Jesus rebuked them, asking if they were ready to drink from the cup he was going to drink from and saying the honor was not even for him to grant. The other apostles were annoyed with them. James and his brother wanted to call down fire on a Samaritan town, but were rebuked by Jesus.[Lk 9:51-6]

Shield with symbol of St. James the Great, Church of the Good Shepherd (Rosemont, Pennsylvania)

The Acts of the Apostles records that “Herod the king” (usually identified with Herod Agrippa I) had James executed by the sword.[Acts 12:2] Nixon suggests that this may have been caused by James’s fiery temper,[2] in which he and his brother earned the nickname Boanerges or “Sons of Thunder”.[Mark 3:17]F. F. Bruce contrasts this story to that of the Liberation of Saint Peter, and notes that “James should die while Peter should escape” is a “mystery of divine providence“.[3]

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