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Saint James the Greater

Updated on August 10, 2010

About Saint James the Greater

Saint James the Greater was born in Galilee during the first century. His father's name was Zebedee and his mother's name was Salome. Also in his family was his brother John, who is widely known as Saint John the Apostle. Evidence points to the fact that Saint John the Apostle and Saint James the Greater were cousins with Christ, this cannot be proven though so the notion remains a mere speculation. Saint James the Greater gained his surname because of his timing in becoming an apostle of Christ. There was another apostle of Jesus' named James, but James the Greater had already been following Jesus for some time before he joined.

Saint James was with his brother and Simon Peter fishing one day in their hometown. They had been out on their boat all night long and had come back to shore with nothing to show for their efforts. Jesus was standing on shore speaking in front of a sizable throng of listeners. He felt standing in the boat that the two brothers and Simon Peter were in would give onlookers a better view of him. He climbed aboard and asked them to take the boat a few feet out into the water. They did as Jesus asked them to do.

Jesus finished what he was speaking about to the crowd and then encouraged James, John, and Simon to head out to deeper waters and throw their nets down. The men figured they might as well because they had nothing to lose. If they came back with even a single fish it would out do their previous nights dismal attempts. The men pulled in more fish then they ever had before. All three of them were convinced on the spot to become Jesus' apostles and to abandon their work as fishermen and follow him.

Saint James the Greater was the very first of Jesus' followers to become a martyr for his faith. Once he was discovered to be a follower of Christ, he was put to an immediate death. This occurred around the year 44 in Spain. His feast is celebrated on July 25th.


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