Saints of the Canon – Saint James the Greater

[Saint James the Greater]Saint James was the elder brother of Saint John. The two brothers are referred to by Saint Luke as “the sons of Zebedee.” (Luke 5:10).

Their mother, Salome, who was present at the Crucifixion (Mark 15:40), was a near relative of the Blessed Virgin, possibly a sister. Consequently, these two Apostles were cousins of Our Lord, and together with Saint Peter were privileged to witness the raising of the daughter of Jairus to life, also the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor, and the three were with Our Lord in the garden at His agony.

Soon after the Ascension, according to ancient tradition, Saint James preached the Gospel in Spain. Saint James was the first to fulfil his pledge to Our Lord: “Can you drink the chalice that I shall drink?” (Matthew 20:22). He was put to death by the sword in Jerusalem by Herod Agrippa some ten years after the death of Christ.

His bones, at an early date, were carried to Spain where they rest today at Santiago de Compostella. To his shrine Spain goes annually in great national pilgrimages.

– from The Saints of the Canon, by Monsignor John T. McMahon, M.A., Ph.D; Australian Catholic Truth Society, 1958