St. James the Greater
Feast Day - July 25
“James -- called the Greater, in order to distinguish him from James, the son of Alphaeus -- was the brother of the Apostle John. In the New Testament, James is often named with Peter and John as one of the three disciples privileged to be present at the most significant events in Jesus' earthly ministry. These include the Lord's transfiguration on Mount Tabor and his agony in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Through these two events, which revealed Christ's glory as the Son of God and the meaning of his redemptive sacrifice, James came to a deeper understanding of the Lord's messianic mission. This growth in faith was crowned by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
The Acts of the Apostles presents James as an authoritative figure in the Church of Jerusalem and the first of the apostles to meet a martyr's death. His example inspires us to be zealous disciples of Christ, prepared to drink from the cup of his suffering in order to reign with him in glory (cf. Mark 10:35-40).
General Audience Address of June 21, 2006
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