St. James the Greater, Apostle

St. James is one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and the brother of St. John the Evangelist. They were nicknamed “The Sons of Thunder”. They were fishing with their father Zebedee when Jesus called them to follow him. St. James was one of the three apostles to witness the transfiguration of Jesus.

He is called St. James the Greater because he was older than James the son of Alphaeus, who was also an apostle.

His feast day is July 25.

Patron Saint of …

He is the patron of laborers, veterinarians, equestrians, pharmacists, oyster fishers, woodcarvers, and Spain.

Daily Mass Readings for the Feast of Saint James, Apostle

  • First Reading2 Corinthians 4:7-15: “Everything indeed is for you, so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.”
  • Responsorial PsalmPsalm 126: “Those who sow in tears, shall reap rejoicing.”
  • Gospel Matthew 20:20-28: “My chalice you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”

Homilies and Reflections

Word On Fire: Movers and Shakers

From Bishop Robert Barron. The key to honor in the kingdom of God is to drink the cup of suffering, to be willing to suffer out of love, to give one’s life away as a gift. Look at the lives of the

USCCB Reflection: What Made James Great?

What made James Great? Was it his age, his wisdom, his stature? Or was it because he dropped his nets and followed Jesus? Greatness comes from service.

St. James the Greater Video

Nothing is known of St. James the Greater’s early life, though it has been established that he is the son of Zebedee and Salome and brother of John the disciple.

Quote and Social Media Graphic

Jesus called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him. St. James the Apostle, pray for us.

As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him.

He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.


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