Saint James the Greater

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St. James was an apostle, part of the inner circle of Jesus. Biological brother of John, he was one of the three present during the transfiguration of Jesus. Following Christ’s death, James was also considered as one of the main pillars of the early Church along with Peter, Paul and John.

Sacred Tradition records that St. James spent most of his time evangelizing in Spain, which he did for about 30 years. I think this is amazing because it only made sense that Jesus spread his Apostles out across all the continents in the world. (The Bible does not record where most of the other Apostles went to evangelize).

Later, James returned to Jerusalem but was martyred for his faith by King Herod, who decapitated him. James the Greater was likely the first Apostle to die. Interesting that the older brother was the first apostle to die, while the younger brother was the last apostle to die.

One can only meditate and see with our mind’s eye how great an impact James was making in the ancient Christian world. He was probably stirring so many hearts that he ended up as a prime target to be killed!

Today as the Church commemorates his feast day, let us strive to be like him in our zeal for Christ. Truly, the Greater Son of Thunder was a fitting title for him!


Originally posted on Instagram.

Noel Ethan Tan

Noel Ethan Tan

Noel is a Singaporean working as a rehabilitation counsellor at ACC(S) Psychiatric Rehabilitation Centre. He is currently doing a part-time Masters Program in Counselling and Guidance at NTU, Singapore. In his church ministry, Noel is currently serving in a young adults' Catholic community called Anawim that does Bible Exegesis. Noel is also pursuing a Certificate in Theology at the Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore. His favorite Bible verse is 1 Peter 3:15 — “In your hearts, reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to any who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it with gentleness and reverence.”

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