St. James, brother of St. John, and son of Zebedee, was a native of Bethsaida in Galilee. He is surnamed the Greater, i.e. the elder.
One day his mother, approaching the Saviour, asked of Him “the favour for her two sons to be seated, one at His right hand and the other at His left, in His kingdom” (Gospel). Christ then foretold their martyrdom. St. James “shall sit on a throne to judge the twelve tribes of Israel” (Communion), but he will first have to mix his blood with that of Jesus (Gospel) and undergo, like all the apostles, a life of suffering and persecution, such as the Epistle describes. After the Ascension of Jesus Christ to heaven, says the office of to-day, James preached His divinity in Judea and Samaria. He soon betook himself to Spain. When he returned to Jerusalem, Herod Agrippa, desiring to please the Jews, condemned him to death and he was beheaded towards the year 42, a short time before the feast of Easter.
It would seem, that for fear of the Arabs who were masters of Jerusalem, the body of the Saint was later carried to Compostella, in Spain, where he is greatly honoured. July 25 recalls the date of this translation. His name is inscribed in the Canon of the Mass with that of St. John, his brother.
Introit: Ps. cxxxviii. 17
Mihi autem nimis honorati sunt amici tui, Deus: nimis confortatus est principatus eorum. * Domine, probasti me, et cognovisti me: tu cognovisti sessionem meam, et resurrectionem meam.
To me, Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honourable: their principality is exceedingly strengthened. * Lord, Thou hast proved me, and known me; Thou hast known my sitting down, and my rising up.
Esto, Domine, plebi tuae sanctificator et custos: ut, Apostoli tui Jacobi munita praesidiis, et conversatione tibi placeat, et secura mente deserviat.
We beseech Thee, O Lord, keep and sanctify Thy people; that strengthened by the help of Thine apostle James, they may please Thee by their conduct and serve Thee with a quiet mind.
Epistle: 1 Corinthians iv. 9-15
Gospel: Matthew xx. 20-23
(The Traditional Latin Mass readings from ‘Saint Andrew Daily Missal’)
Homily from Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate: