Saint James

Son of Zebedee

Apostle James the Greater

Saint James the Greater
Saint Jacques le Majeur

According to the New Testament, James the Great, also known as James son of Zebedee or Saint James the Greater, was one of Jesus’ Twelve Apostles and part of His inner circle. One of the James Facts is that according to Catholic tradition, Apostle James spread Christianity in Spain.

Il a été décapité à Jérusalem en 44 et sa dépouille a ensuite été transportée en Galice dans un bateau de pierre jusqu'au site de la cathédrale de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle.

Patron saints are not unique to Roman Catholicism, but also to Eastern Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, and some branches of Islam. The patron saint of pilgrims and Spain is St James the Greater, Son of Zebedee.

St James the Greater was one of Jesus Christ’s disciples and was thought to be his cousin by the Virgin Mary’s sister, and the brother of St Jude Thaddée.

He shared a fishing boat with his brother John, his father Zebedee, and his partner Simon. John and James were disciples of John the Baptist and, later, of Jesus.

When Jesus called James and his brother John to be “pêcheurs d'hommes”, ils ont laissé leur vie de pêcheurs. Il était l'un des disciples de Jésus jusqu'à ce qu'ilcrucifié par les Romains.

Lucas Cranach the Elder, Saint James the Greater, woodcut, Rosenwald Collection, 1952.8.219
"Lucas Cranach the Elder, Saint James the Greater, woodcut, Rosenwald Collection, 1952.8.219"

Birth/Origins

Selon le mythe chrétien, Saint Jacques Fils de Zébédée est né en Galilée vers l'an 5 av. Ses parents semblent avoir été aisés. Son père, Zébédée, était un pêcheur de la mer de Galilée qui vivait probablement à Bethsaïda ou à proximité, peut-être à Capharnaüm, et avait des bateliers ou des hommes de main.

Sa mère, Salomé, était l'une des femmes pieuses qui plus tard suivirent le Christ et « lui donnèrent le ministère de leur substance ».

Son frère étaitJean l'Apôtre, who, according to Christian tradition, was the only Apostle who did not die as a martyr and is the author of several New Testament books. According to the Church Fathers, his brother is the same person as John the Evangelist, John of Patmos, and the Beloved Disciple.

En raison de leur personnalité impulsive, les deux frères ont été surnommés « Boanerges » (« Fils du tonnerre ») et ont été parmi les premiers disciples à rejoindre Jésus-Christ.

Selon les évangiles synoptiques, Jacques et Jean étaient dans un bateau avec leur père réparant leurs filets lorsque Jésus les a appelés à le suivre.

James était l'un des trois élus qui ont été témoins de la Transfiguration (métamorphose), de la fille ressuscitée de Jaïrus et de l'agonie à Gethsémani.

Achievements

St James, ou St Lago comme il est orthographié en espagnol, est aussi le grand patron militaire de l'Espagne. Cependant, sa mission de défendre l'Église chrétienne contre les envahisseurs a été reportée jusqu'après sa mort.

Au cours de la célèbre bataille de Clavijo, il est apparu à l'improviste sur un destrier blanc laiteux, brandissant un étendard blanc et menant les chrétiens à la victoire.

This manifestation occurred in response to the soldiers’ use of his name as the battle cry on that particular day, “Sant lago!” As a result, the ancient city of Santiago was named after him, and the cathedral was built in his honor.

Saint Paul the Apostle Church (Westerville, Ohio) - stained glass, arcade, Saint James the Greater
Saint Paul the Apostle Church (Westerville, Ohio) - stained glass, arcade, Saint James the Greater

Life Lessons

Despite everything James went through as a disciple of Jesus, his faith remained shaky until the resurrection. When he and his brother asked Jesus for the honor of sitting beside him in glory, Jesus only promised them a share of his suffering (Marc 10:35;Marc 10:36;Marc 10:37;Marc 10:38;Marc 10:39;Marc 10:40;Mark 10:41;Mark 10:42;Mark 10:43;Mark 10:44;Mark 10:45).

They discovered that the greatest calling of a Jesus follower is to serve others. Following Jesus Christ can lead to adversity, persecution, and even death, but the reward is eternal life with him in heaven.

Voyages

Un texte apocryphe connu sous le nom d'Évangile des Douze suggérait au premier siècle que lorsque le Saint-Esprit descendit sur les apôtres à la Pentecôte (Actes 2), ils étaient chacun habilités à parler la langue du peuple qu'ils étaient appelés à atteindre (comme le Tour de Babel, mais à l'envers). Jacques parlait le latin, qui était principalement parlé dans la moitié ouest de l'Empire romain.

Cependant, ce n'est que des centaines d'années plus tard que quelqu'un a suggéré à James de se rendre en Espagne.

Un texte connu sous le nom de Bréviaire des Apôtres, écrit au VIe siècle, affirmait que Jacques avait propagé l'évangile en Espagne et avait été enterré quelque part près de la mer, à l'ouest de l'Espagne.

Cette affirmation a été répétée dans des poèmes, des hymnes, des biographies et des commentaires aux VIIe et VIIIe siècles. Au début du IXe siècle, une étoile brillante aurait guidé un berger jusqu'au tombeau de Saint-Jacques en Galice, dans ce qui est aujourd'hui connu sous le nom de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle.

Pour ce faire, Jacques aurait dû quitter Jérusalem pour évangéliser l'Espagne, puis revenir à Jérusalem pour être exécuté en 44 après JC, puis faire transporter ses restes en Espagne pour y être enterrés.

At the time, this legend was widely accepted, and the burial site became one of the most popular Christian pilgrimages. However, most modern scholars have found little evidence to support James’ ministry in Spain or his alleged burial there.

Même Paul le fait paraître moins crédible. Dans Romains 15, dit-il,

“It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was unknown so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation” (Romans 15:20),

and he plans to go to Spain next (Romans 15:23;Romans 15:24).

Personne n'a apporté l'évangile en Espagne, mais il serait étrange que Paul dise,

"Je préfère aller là où personne n'a répandu l'évangile auparavant, c'est pourquoi je vais là où James est allé."

The majority of scholars believe James never made it to Spain. He died in Jerusalem, early in the Christian movement. This Spanish missionary journey was not mentioned again until the sixth century, and the discovery of his burial site was simply too fantastical. Despite its mythical origins, this pilgrimage, known as the Camino de Santiago, has remained popular to this day.

Lucas Cranach the Elder, Saint James the Greater
Lucas Cranach the Elder, Saint James the Greater

Saint Jacques avec Jésus

Jacques était l'un des apôtres qui cherchaient le pouvoir et l'autorité sur les autres, ce que Jésus a réprimandé :

“And Zebedee’s sons, James and John, come to him, saying, “Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatever we shall desire.” And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” They said to him, “Grant us a seat in thy glory, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left.”

(Matthew 10:35;Matthew 10:36;Matthew 10:37;Matthew 10:38;Matthew 10:39;Matthew 10:40)

Jesus uses this occasion to reiterate his lesson about how a person who wants to be “great” in God’s kingdom must learn to be the “least” here on earth, serving all others and putting their needs and desires ahead of their own.

Non seulement Jacques et Jean sont réprimandés pour avoir cherché leur gloire, mais le reste des disciples est également réprimandé pour en être jaloux.

C'est l'une des rares fois dans la Bible où Jésus est cité comme ayant beaucoup à dire sur le pouvoir politique. Il se concentre la plupart du temps sur les questions religieuses. Au chapitre 8, il met en garde contre la tentation du « levain des pharisiens… et du levain d'Hérode », mais en ce qui concerne les détails, il s'est toujours concentré sur les problèmes des pharisiens.

St. James, Son of Zebedee
Statue of Saint James, Son of Zebedee

Arrest

James was not the first Christian martyr, as Stephen was, who was stoned to death in Acts 7:54;Acts 7:55;Acts 7:56;Acts 7:57;Acts 7:58;Acts 7:59 Acts 7:60. James died as a result of being beheaded, as recorded in the Book of Acts (Acts 12:1;Acts 12:2;Acts 12:3): “About that time, Herod laid violent hands on some of the church’s members.” He killed James, John’s brother, with the sword, and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he arrested Peter as well.

C'était pendant la période des pains sans levain. En conséquence, l'apôtre Jacques fut le premier à mourir en martyr. Un seul apôtre, ironiquement, a échappé à la mort pour sa foi, et c'était son frère, l'apôtre Jean.

The Death of James

Les martyrs et les confesseurs sont les deux types de saints. Un martyr chrétien est quelqu'un qui est exécuté pour ses croyances chrétiennes. Les confesseurs sont des personnes décédées de causes naturelles.

In 44 AD, King Herod Agrippa I captured and beheaded James for heresy after he made the perilous journey back to Jerusalem to pay his respects. Even though James died in Jerusalem, his ashes were returned to his beloved Galicia, and a church was built over them. This was the beginning of Santiago de Compostela’s cathedral, and the body of St. James is said to be buried there to this day.

Saint James the Greater
Artus Wolffort - Saint James the Greater

Clé à emporter

Parce qu'il était l'un des apôtres les plus francs, et étant donné quele roi Hérode killed James, it could have been James’ proclivity to speak boldly for Christ and speak against the evil that Herod was well known for. In any case, the Apostle James was completely transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

He was impulsive, outspoken, easily provoked to anger, and highly impulsive, and had a so-called “hair trigger” at one time, but like John, who became known as “the apostle whom Jesus loved” (Jean 13:23), he became a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) and was forever changed, and today is one of the 12 apostles who will rule or judge the 12 tribes of Israel in God’s coming kingdom (Matthew 19:28). That was the Apostle, James.

Prayer to Saint James

Prayer to James the Greater
O Glorious St. 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

Caractéristiques

Characteristics of Apostle James (also referred to as Saint James by the Catholic church) made us understand that Apostle James was the son of Zebedee and in the same vein, of all the 12 apostles, he was the most obscure apostle, John’s brother, and he hailed from Galilee.

James was a fisherman with Peter and John and is always referred to in The Bible as the son of Zebedee to prevent confusion among other James in The Bible (there are many!). According to the characteristics of the 12 Apostles, Jesus nicknamed both James and John “Sons of Thunder,” this nickname is thought to come from the fact that they both were such stormy personalities. They were easily angered and quick to judge enemies of the Lord.

Saint James the Greater-Giovanni de Francesco-MBA Lyon B-936
Saint James the Greater-Giovanni de Francesco-MBA Lyon B-936

Sceptique

Il semble que durant les trois années du ministère de Jésus, Jacques n'ait pas accepté la messianité de notre Seigneur. Jean nous dit qu'aucun des frères de Christ n'a cru en lui. Comme il est étrange que Jacques et ses frères soient si sceptiques quant au ministère de Christ alors qu'ils étaient des observateurs de première main de sa vie sans péché et de ses miracles étonnants.

Mary and Joseph also, at times, found Christ’s behavior and actions hard to understand (see, for instance, Luc 2:50). Plus tard, dans l'un des passages qui nous sont présentés dans cette section, ses frères se joignent à leur mère pour chercher à retenir le Christ—vraisemblablement parce qu'eux, comme les amis du Christ (v. 21), doutaient de sa santé mentale. Il n'est pas étonnant que Jésus ait dit : « Un prophète n'est méprisé que dans son pays et dans sa maison.

Saint James the Apostle
Saint James the Apostle

Convertir

Although James was an eyewitness to Jesus’ character and ministry, it is fairly clear that he did not become a convinced believer until after Christ had died on the cross and risen from the dead.

Cette déduction, partagée par la plupart des commentateurs évangéliques, est basée sur le fait qu'après la résurrection, on nous dit que les frères de Jésus se sont réunis avec les disciples au Cénacle.

This view—that James became a convinced believer as a direct result of the resurrection—is further strengthened by the fact that in 1 Corinthiens 15:7, il est fait référence à l'apparition du Christ après la résurrection à Jacques.

Une nouvelle allégeance est entrée dans le cœur de Jacques et de ses frères après la résurrection.

Des années de scepticisme et d'incrédulité ont fait place à une foi et une conviction profondes.

James the Greater
Guido Reni Saint James the Greater

chef de l'Eglise

Après l'effusion du Saint-Esprit à la Pentecôte, une église fut formée à Jérusalem, dirigée, semble-t-il, par Jacques, le frère de notre Seigneur. Le degré auquel Jacques avait été transformé devient tout à fait évident quand nous voyons l'honneur et le respect que les premiers chrétiens lui accordaient.

En tant que chef de l'église de Jérusalem, Saul de Tarse s'entretint avec lui lorsqu'il y retourna après sa rencontre avec le Christ sur la route de Damas.

Jacques, qui a présidé le célèbre «Concile de Jérusalem» et rendu la décision, a ensuite transmis aux églises par lettre que les Gentils entrant dans la foi chrétienne n'étaient pas tenus d'être circoncis ou d'observer les lois de Moïse.

Auteur et écrivain

Certains érudits pensent que le frère de notre Seigneur n'est pas l'auteur de la lettre de Jacques à cause de la façon dont il se présente dans le verset d'ouverture : « Jacques, serviteur de Dieu et du Seigneur Jésus-Christ ». Si Jacques, le frère du Seigneur, l'avait écrit, il aurait affirmé ce fait dans ses remarques d'ouverture.

However, such a view does not consider the tremendous impact that Christ’s death and resurrection made upon James. The writer is so taken up with the fact of Christ’s Lordship—” a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ”—that by comparison, the fact that he was Christ’s brother seems to be of no great importance. James rejoiced, not so much in his earthly relationship to Christ, but in his heavenly one.

Saint Paul the Apostle Church (Westerville, Ohio) - stained glass, arcade, Saint James the Greater
Saint Paul the Apostle Church (Westerville, Ohio) - stained glass, arcade, Saint James the Greater

Un homme impétueux

It was probably for this type of hotheaded rashness and fanaticism that the surname “Boanerges,” which means “Sons of Thunder,” was bestowed on them when they were ordained to the Twelve, MAR 3:17. Note, however, that there was some excuse for their action.

The impression left by the Transfiguration was still greatly upon them. They felt strongly that their Lord, whom they had just beheld “in His glory” with “His countenance altered” and “shining garments,” should not be subjected to such indignities by the Samaritans.

Upon the occasion of our Lord’s last journey to Jerusalem, the two brothers gave expression to this presumptuous rashness in a more selfish manner. They presumed their intimacy with Jesus and made the following request.

“And James and John, the two sons of Zebedee, came up to Him, saying to Him, ‘Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask of You.’ And He said to them, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ And they said to Him, ‘Grant that we may sit in Your glory, one on Your right, and one on Your left.’

Mais Jésus leur dit :

« Vous ne savez pas ce que vous demandez. Es-tu capable de boire la coupe que je bois ou d'être baptisé du baptême dont je suis baptisé ?'

Et ils lui dirent :

'Nous sommes capables.'

Et Jésus leur dit :

‘The cup that I drink you shall drink, and you shall be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized. But to sit on My right or on My left, this is not Mine to give; but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.’”

In Matthew 20:20;Matthew 20:21;Matthieu 20:22;Matthieu 20:23;Matthew 20:24;Matthew 20:25;Matthew 20:26;Matthew 20:27;Matthew 20:28, these words are put in their mother’s mouth, not directly from James and John. However, this request drew forth the rebuke of Jesus and moved the other ten with indignation”. And hearing this; the ten began to feel indignant with James and John.

Caractéristiques récapitulatives

Chacun des évangiles synoptiques identifie Jacques comme l'un des premiers disciples de Jésus. Jacques, le fils de Zébédée, souvent appelé Jacques le Majeur pour le distinguer de l'autre apôtre nommé Jacques, était membre du cercle intime du Christ, qui comprenait son frère, l'apôtre Jean, et Pierre.

Non seulement Jacques et Jean ont reçu un surnom spécial du Seigneur — « fils du tonnerre » — mais ils ont eu le privilège d'être au centre de trois événements surnaturels dans la vie du Christ.

Faits

St James the Greater facts, the disciple made us understand that St James is one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ. He is called ‘the Greater to distinguish him from ‘Jacques le Moins‘, another Apostle of Jesus. He was the first Apostle to be martyred when Herod Agrippa ordered his death, in about AD 44.

Two apostles named James

Interested in learning more about the remarkable lives of the two Apostles named James? We invite you to explore the shared names and distinct paths of these influential figures who played pivotal roles in the early Christian Church.

The saints of the Christian church can often be identified by a device, known as their attribute. Here St. James holds a pilgrim’s staff with a drinking bottle attached. He is usually depicted as a pilgrim and often wears a hat with a cockleshell attached. In the medieval period, the story of St. James was greatly embellished. In northern Spain, a legend developed that he had traveled to the coast of Galicia to convert the local population. After he was martyred in Jerusalem, his servant brought his body back to Galicia by sea.

As the boat approached the shore, a startled horse threw its rider to the ground, and the man drowned. The servant prayed, and miraculously the man emerged alive from the water, covered in cockleshells, hence James’s shell.

In the early 9th century the bishop of the area claimed that God had told him where to find the body of St James. He built a church on the site. By the 11th century, Santiago de Compostela was a major pilgrimage destination; it still attracts thousands every year. Saints were often thought of as protectors, and the possession of relics of an important one was to be ensured divine protection

Apostle James the Greater Logo
Apostle James the Greater Logo

The Story and History

The story and history of Saint James the Greater, who was one of the disciples of Jesus. James was prominent amongst the twelve apostles. He was James, the son of Zebedee, who was considered the greater apostle of those called James.

James is thought to be a cousin of Jesus, by the sister of the Virgin Mary, and the brother of Saint Jude Thaddeus. James worked as a fisherman with his brother John, his father Zebedee, and his partner Simon. John and James were followers of John the Baptist and then Jesus.

John the Baptist referred to Jesus with the words “Behold the Lamb of God!”. He left his life as a fisherman when Jesus called him to be a fisher of men.

One of the facts is that he followed Jesus as one of his disciples until Jesus was crucified. James was chosen by Jesus to be one of the twelve apostles and was given the mission to spread the gospel of Jesus.

He made a pilgrimage to Spain to spread the word. St James returned to Judea, where he was beheaded by King Herod Agrippa I (10 BC – 44 AD) in the year 44. This is detailed in the Bible in Acts 12 of the New Testament. The remains, or relics, of Saint James the Greater, are said to be buried in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia (Spain) explaining why Saint James is the patron saint of Spain.

Saint James the Greater
Saint James the Greater

The Legend of St James the Greater

St James the Greater Facts, or according to the Spanish form of his name, St Lago, is also the great military patron of Spain. His mission to defend the Christian Church against invaders was however reserved until after his death.

During the celebrated battle of Clavijo, he suddenly appeared on a milk-white charger, waving aloft a white standard, and leading the Christians to victory.

This manifestation was in response to the soldiers’ invocation of his name, “Saint Lago!” as the battle cry of that day. Hence, the name of the ancient city (Santiago) which is where the cathedral was founded in his honor.

Author of Book of James

St James the Greater Facts solves the issue that some people confuse the Apostle James as the author of the Book of James but that James was the half-brother of Jesus who only professed faith in Christ after Jesus rose from the dead.

By the time the Book of James was written, and it appears to be the first book written in the New Testament around 45 AD, James the son of Zebedee had already lost his life.

Only a few of the apostles wrote books in the New Testament and James the son of Zebedee was not one of them, however, his brother, the Apostle John, wrote five books; the Gospel of John, 1st, 2nd, 3rd John, and of course the Book of Revelation although the actual author was Jesus Christ (Rev 1:1)

Prayer to James the Greater
O Glorious St. 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

Apostle James Symbol

One of the facts is that James, also known as James the son of Zebedee, was one of Jesus’ inner circle in the gospels. Along with Peter and his brother, John, James was a witness to Jesus’ transfiguration and many other events that Jesus showed only to the three.

Tradition has it that James traveled widely to preach the gospel, going as far as Spain. One of his symbols, the shell, comes from the legend that these shells were numerous on the shore on which James arrived in Spain. He has a couple of other common symbols.

The sword indicates how he was killed by King Herod, recorded in Acts 12. A traveling stick also points to his extensive journeys.

The Feast Day of St James

St James facts tell us that the Feast Day of St James the Greater is July 25th and is widely celebrated in Spain, especially in Santiago de Compostela, where they hold a firework display at the end of a two-week celebration.

When the Feast of St James falls on a Sunday that year will be a Camino Holy Year, also known as a Year of Compostela, or Jacobean Year. During these years visitors to the Cathedral in Santiago can receive a plenary indulgence.

Apostle James Actions

James, along with his brother John, is portrayed in the gospels as perhaps being more important than most of the other apostles. He was present at the resurrection of Jarius’s daughter, at Jesus’s transfiguration, and at the Garden of Gethsemane before Jesus was arrested. Other than a few references to him in the New Testament, however, we have no information about who James was or what he did.

The Origin of Feast Days

Most saints have specially designated feast days that are associated with a specific day of the year. The feast days first arose from the very early Christian custom of the annual commemoration of martyrs on the dates of their deaths at the same time celebrating their birth into heaven.

Saint James Son of Zebedee Facts Conclusion

St James the Greater Facts state that James is the elder brother of John. He is a rather quiet part of the team of disciples in that we don’t read much about him in Scripture.

As part of Jesus’ “inner three” he was permitted to be present along with Peter and John when Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead (Mark 5:37), he witnessed Jesus’ transfiguration on the Mount of Olives (Matthieu 17:1), and he was in the Garden of Gethsemane with Jesus. (Mark 14:33)

James was the first disciple to be martyred (he was beheaded) and the only disciple to have their martyrdom recorded in Scripture. (Acts 12:1;Acts 12:2;Acts 12:3)

Summary Saint James Son of Zebedee

Jacques était l'un des douze premiers disciples. Lorsque Jésus convoqua les frères, Jacques et Jean étaient pêcheurs sur la mer de Galilée avec leur père Zébédée. Ils ont tout de suite quitté leur père et leurs affaires pour suivre le jeune rabbin. Parce que James est toujours mentionné en premier, il était probablement l'aîné des deux frères.

Jesus invited James, John, and Peter three times to witness events that no one else witnessed: the raising of Jairus’ daughter from the dead (Mark 5:37;Mark 5:38;Mark 5:39;Mark 5:40;Mark 5:41;Mark 5:42;Mark 5:43; Mark 5:44; Mark 5:45; Mark 5:46; Mark 5:47), the transfiguration (Matthieu 17:1;Matthieu 17:2;Matthieu 17:3), and Jesus’ agony in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthieu 26:36;Matthieu 26:37).

James the Greater Apostle Hajdudorog Frame
James the Greater Apostle Hajdudorog Frame

But James wasn’t above making blunders. When a Samaritan village rejected Jesus, he and John wished to summon fire from heaven. As a result, they were dubbed “Boanerges,” or “sons of thunder.” The mother of James and John went too far when she asked Jesus to give her sons special positions in his kingdom.

Because of his devotion to Jesus, James was the first of the twelve apostles to be martyred. On the order of King Herod Agrippa I of Judea, he was killed with the sword around 44 A.D., as part of the general persecution of the early church.

Dans le Nouveau Testament, il y a deux autres hommes nommés Jacques : Jacques, le fils d'Alphée, un autre des apôtres choisis du Christ, et Jacques, le frère du Seigneur, un dirigeant de l'église de Jérusalem et auteur du livre de Jacques.

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