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About our patron saint
LIFE OF THE HOLY APOSTLE JAMES, THE BROTHER OF OUR LORD, FIRST BISHOP OF JERUSALEM
The Holy Apostle James was the son of the Elder Joseph, the betrothed of the Theotokos. His mother was Salome, the first wife of Joseph. He had mastery over himself as a child, read the scriptures, and gave alms. He always fasted from meat and fish and did many prostrations. Appointed bishop of Jerusalem by the Apostles, he corrected those who said that sin is natural, since that would also mean that God created evil. He taught that man is enticed by his own lust.
Commemorated on October 23rd
He also taught that man should control his tongue, not lie, or swear an oath. He presided at the apostolic council in Jerusalem (see Acts 15) and his word influenced the Church not to circumcise the Gentiles.
The Pharisees once asked James to speak to all the people for the feast of Passover. Since he was respected by all, they asked him to tell the people that Jesus was not the Christ but a mere man. Instead, when James ascended the parapet so that he could be seen, he spoke thus: "Why do ye question me concerning Jesus? He is seated in heaven at the right hand of His Father with the heavenly powers, and He will come again on the clouds of heaven, to judge the world with righteousness!” This statement converted many but enraged the Pharisees. They threw him down from the parapet and stoned him. James prayed, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." Finally, one of them hit him in the head with a club, and he gave up his spirit (God is Wonderful in His Saints, pg. 268).
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