Feast of Saint James the Greater
Known as Saint James the Greater because he was called to be
an Apostle before the other James (James the Less); he was also the older brother of Saint
John the Evangelist who were sons of Zebedee and Salome.
He followed his brother John to the shores of the Jordan
River where he was called by Jesus to be "fishers of men." James was
one of the three privileged Apostles, along with Peter and John, to witness
three miraculous events: the
healing of Peter's mother-in-law (Matthew 1:29-31),
the daughter of Jairus (Mark 5:37-43), and the Transfiguration of
Jesus (Mark 9:2-8).
James was also present in the agony of Garden as one of the few apostles who accompanied
Jesus there and fell asleep.
Our Lady of the Pillar
Jesus affectionately called James a "son of
thunder" because of his great flaming love of his
soul for the Son of God. James
revealed his humanity in Luke 9:51-56 when James impetuously
railed about calling down
fire from Heaven on the Samaritans because of their lack of faith, and in the famous scene
in Mark 10:35 -45 where the two brothers ask Jesus for the privilege of sitting at
right and left side in Heaven.
But after Pentecost all
imperfections faded and James went on
to preach the Gospel in Samaria and Judea, then traveled a great distance to Spain where
In Zaragosa, Spain around 40 A.D. the
Blessed Mother made her
first recorded apparition, this before her
Assumption, appearing to James in a vision as
Our Lady of Pillar, because
she stood on a pillar with the
angels supporting it.
Her purpose was to summon him back to Jerusalem where he was
martyred by beheading at the hands of
Herod Agrippa around 43 AD. He was buried in
Jerusalem but his relics were transferred to Compostela, Spain in
830 A.D. where they