Apostle, martyr (44 A.D.), son of Zebedee and Salome, elder brother of John the Baptist, called James the Greater to distinguish him from James the Less who was probably shorter in stature. He became a disciple of John the Baptist and later of the Messias (Matthew 4; Mark 1). Our Lord called him and his brother John, “Boanerges” (sons of thunder), on account of their fiery zeal (Luke 9). He with Peter and John were the three among the Apostles present at the raising of the daughter of Jairus, the Transfiguration, and the Agony. James perished by the sword, under Herod Agrippa (Acts 12). The Spaniards honor him as the first apostle of their country. Compostela among other places claims to possess his body, said to have been miraculously transported there. Patron of Spain and Chile, of druggists, pilgrims, wax chandlers, laborers; invoked against rheumatism and in war. Emblems: pilgrim’s staff, shell, key, sword. Feast, Roman Calendar, 25 July.
- “Saint James the Greater”. . CatholicSaints.Info. 7 August 2013. Web. 25 July 2016. <>