Saint James

St James James, son of Zebedee, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus.

He was a son of Zebedee and Salome, and brother of John the Apostle.

He is also called James the Greater to distinguish him from James, son of Alphaeus, who is also known as James the Less.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]

According to the Gospel of Mark, James and John were called Boanerges, or the “Sons of Thunder” and also the “Saintly Brothers of Martyrdom”.[Mark 3:17]

James was one of only three apostles whom Jesus selected to bear witness to his Transfiguration.

The Acts of the Apostles records that Agrippa I had James executed by sword.[Acts 12:1-2]

His remains are said to be in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia (Spain). Saint James is the Patron Saint of Spain. The city where his remains are held, Santiago de Compostela, is considered the third most holy town within Roman Catholicism (after Jerusalem and Rome). The traditional pilgrimage to the grave of the saint, known as the “Way of St. James”, has become the most popular pilgrimage for Western European Catholics from the early Middle Ages onwards. In 2008, 125,141 pilgrims registered as having completed the final 100 km walk (200 km by bicycle) to Santiago to qualify for a Compostela.

The feast day of St James is celebrated on 25 July on the liturgical calendars of the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and certain Protestant churches. When 25 July falls on a Sunday, it is a ″Jubilee″ year, and a special east door is opened for entrance into the Santiago Cathedral.

The scallop shell is the traditional emblem of James, son of Zebedee and is popular with pilgrims on the Way of St James. Medieval Christians making the pilgrimage to his shrine often wore a scallop shell symbol on their hat or clothes. You will find many scallop shells around St James’, Finchampstead, such as in the stained glass windows and carved into the pews.

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