Saint James the Greater

Patron of: Equestrians, Furriers, Oyster fishers, Pharmacists, Tanners, Veterinarians, Woodcarvers

Celebrated: 25. July



Full biography:

James was a son of Zebedee and Salome, and brother of John the Apostle. James is described as one of the first disciples to join Jesus; James and John were with their father by the seashore when Jesus called them to follow him. Even among the apostles James held a special place. When Jesus went up to the mountain to pray, he wanted James, John, and Peter to go with him. And it was there on the mountain they were privileged to witness what no one else had seen -- Jesus transfigured in his glory, speaking to Moses and Elijah, as the voice of God spoke from a cloud. The city where his remains are said to be held, Santiago de Compostela, is considered the third most holy town within Roman Catholicism (after Jerusalem and Rome). According to ancient local tradition, on January 2nd of the year AD 40, the Virgin Mary appeared to James on the bank of the Ebro River at Caesaraugusta, while he was preaching the Gospel in Iberia. She appeared upon a pillar, Nuestra Señora del Pilar, and that pillar is conserved and venerated within the present Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, in Zaragoza, Spain. Following that apparition, St James returned to Judea, where he became one of the first martyrs when he was beheaded by King Herod Agrippa I.


O Glorious Saint James, because of your fervor and generosity Jesus chose you to witness his glory on the Mount and his agony in the Garden. Obtain for us strength and consolation in the unending struggles of this life. Help us to follow Christ constantly and generously, to be victors over all our difficulties, and to receive the crown of glory in heaven. Amen