St. James the Lesser

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By Catholic Digest Staff


St. James the Lesser
Feast Day May 3

 

James the Lesser, meaning younger, is traditionally celebrated as being the author of a letter in the New Testament. His mother is thought to have been a sister or close relative of the Blessed Virgin Mary. According to Jewish custom, James was sometimes called the brother of the Lord, which could refer to any male relative. Their family ties gave rise to the idea that Jesus and James might have shared some similar traits in appearance, and the speculation that their physical likeness could have been the reason for Judas having to identify Jesus with a kiss. Also known as James the Just because of his righteousness and devotion, James became the first bishop of Jerusalem.

 


Photo: El Greco - Doménicos Theotokópoulos

Catholic Digest Staff