St. James’ Day. July 25

Major Apostle Saint James

St. James’ patron saint is Saint James the Apostle. Saint James is commemorated on July 25 of every year and St. James’ Day is celebrated, here at St. James’, on the Sunday closest to July 25.

The following is taken from The Proper for the Lesser Feasts and Fasts :

“James, the brother of John, is often known as James the Greater, to distinguish him from the other Apostle of the same name, commemorated in the calendar with Philip, and also from James ‘the brother of our Lord.’ He was the son of a prosperous Galilean fisherman, son of Zebedee, and with his brother John left his home and his trade in obedience to the call of Christ. With Peter and John, he seems to have belonged to an especially privileged group, whom Jesus chose to be witnesses of the Transfiguration, the raising of Jarius’ daughter, and the agony in the garden.

Apparently, James’ shared John’s hot-headed disposition, and Jesus nicknamed the brothers ‘Boanerges’ (Aramaic for ‘Sons of Thunder’). James’ expressed willingness to share the cup of Christ was realized in being the first of the Apostles to die for him. As the Acts of the Apostles records, ‘About that time Herod the King laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the Church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword’ (Acts 12:1-2).

According to an old tradition, the body of James was taken to Compostela, Spain, which has been a shrine for pilgrims for centuries. Among the Spaniards, James is one of the most popular saints. In the Middle Ages, under the title of Santiago (Spanish for ‘St. James’) de Compostela, his aid was especially invoked in battle against the Moors.”