ByzCatholic, Feasts

Holy Apostle James, Brother of St. John the Theologian

April 30th is the feast of Saint James, who is the brother of St. John the Theologian.

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I recently posted an article about St. James who is called the brother of Our Lord. This article goes into the etymology of James/Jacob in scripture, and also about St. James. But there are two other major James’ in the New Testament. (Personally, I find all the James more confusing than all the Marys. How about you?). So today we will look at what makes this James unique, and how we celebrate him.

Celebrating James

The St. James we are celebrating in this article is one of the sons of Zebedee. While his brother John is more well known to us (hence he is called the brother of John, rather than John being called the brother of James). However, he is also called James the Greater. This is because he is the elder of the two apostle James’.

St. James joined Christ at the same time as his brother John, and St. Peter. He too left being a fisherman to follow Christ. We also know from scripture that St. James was present at the Transfiguration. Also, we know that he, like his brother John, was deeply passionate. For he was reprimanded by Christ for wanting to ask God to destroy a Samaritan village which had not welcomed the Son of God. Finally, we know James preached to the Jews and Romans in the Empire, and he went and evangelized in Spain.

Celebrate St. James with an icon of him in your icon corner. (Or, an icon of the Transfiguration)! Also, pray the tropars for the day listed below. And

Prayers and Tropars

Matins Gospel: John 21: 15-25

Troparion Tone 3

O James, worthy of all praise, chosen apostle of Christ and only brother of the beloved theologian. Ask God to bestow on those who hymn you, forgiveness of sins, and to grant our souls great mercy.

Kontakion Tone 2

When you heard God’s voice calling to you, you spurned the love of your father, and fled to Christ with your kinsman, O glorious James. With him you were favoured to see the Lord’s divine transfiguration.

And finally, Prokeimenon Tone 8

Their utterance has gone forth into all the earth, and their words into the ends of the world.

The Byzantine Life

If you enjoyed this week’s article, you might also be interested in reading about the name James/Jacob in the Bible, or about Guardian Angels.

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