St. James the Greater

 James was the son of Zebedee and Salome and the brother of St. John the Apostle. Fishermen like their father, James and John were on their father’s boat mending his nets when the Lord passed by. Jesus called James and John, and asked them to follow him. He told them, as his disciples they would become fishers of men. They would help him to spread the Good News about God’s kingdom. Zebedee watched as his two sons left the boat to follow Jesus.

…the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. (James 3:17-18)

 James was beheaded by Herod Agrippa. He is the only apostle whose death is recorded in scripture (Acts 12:2). His shield shows a scallop (or cockle) shell, a symbol of pilgrimage by sea, and the sword of martyrdom. Sometimes three shells are shown without a sword.


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