St James the Apostle


The James whose shrine is at Santiago de Compostela, in north-west Spain, was the brother of John (possibly the Evangelist). The Gospels (Matthew 4, 21-22; Mark 1, 19-20; Luke 5, 10-11) record that they were fishermen, the sons of Zebedee, partners with Simon Peter, and called by Jesus from mending their nets beside the sea of Galilee at the beginning of his ministry. The Gospel lists of the Twelve (Matthew 10, 2-4; Mark 3, 14-19; Luke 6, 13-16) all include James and John among the first four, and from one of them (Mark 3,17) we learn that Jesus nicknamed them ‘the sons of thunder’ – perhaps justified by the story (Luke 9, 51-56) that they once wished to call down fire from heaven to destroy a village which had refused them hospitality.

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