Saint James (James the Less)

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Saint James, in the Bible, the "brother" of Jesus. The Gospels make several references to the brothers of Jesus, and St. Paul speaks of "James the Lord's brother." While Protestants generally regard James as a child of Mary and Joseph conceived after the birth of Jesus, Catholic and Orthodox belief in the perpetual virginity of Mary precludes a blood relationship between Jesus and James, leading those churches to posit that James was a stepbrother (assuming a previous marriage for Joseph) or a cousin. The latter hypothesis, which is favored by the Roman Catholic Church, identifies James with St, James the Less.

The James whom Paul calls "the Lord's brother" witnessed the Resurrection and became a leader of the church in Jerusalem, by tradition the first bishop there. He apparently opposed the imposition of Jewish Law on gentile Christians but believed that Jewish Christians should continue to observe it. He is probably the James of the epistle of that name. Some scholars believe that he wrote it himself, others that it was written at a later date under his name. The Jewish historian Josephus records that James was stoned to death at the instigation of the priests c.AD 62.

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James male forename, name of two saints.
St James the Great an Apostle, son of Zebedee and brother of John. He was put to death by Herod Agrippa I; afterwards, according to a Spanish tradition, his body was taken to Santiago de Compostela, which became a major pilgrimage centre. He is traditionally seen in Spanish iconography as leading the Christian Reconquest against the Moors. His emblems are a scallop shell and a pilgrim's hat, and his feast day is 25 July.
St James the Less also an Apostle; he is said to have been martyred by being beaten to death with a fuller's club. He may be identical with the James who was a leader of the early Christian Church at Jerusalem, also known as the Lord's brother. His emblem is a fuller's club, and his feast day (in the Eastern Church) is 9 October; (in the Western Church) is 1 May.

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Saint James, d. c.AD 43, in the Bible, one of the Twelve Apostles, called St. James the Greater. He was the son of Zebedee and the brother of St. John; these brothers were the Boanerges, or Sons of Thunder. St. James was killed by Herod Agrippa I. Veneration of St. James has been widespread, especially in Spain (where he is called Santiago); the shrine of the apostle at Santiago de Compostela, Spain, is one of the most celebrated of Europe. Feast: July 25.

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Saint James, in the Bible, one of the Twelve Apostles, called St. James the Less or St. James the Little. He was the son of Alphaeus; his mother, Mary, was one of those at the cross and tomb. The Western Church identifies him with Saint James, "the Lord's brother." Feast (with St. Philip): May 1.

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Saint James, uninc. town (1990 pop. 12,800), Suffolk co., SE N.Y., on Long Island, in a farm and resort area. It is residential.