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St. James Lesser was the son of Mary who is believed
to be the sister or cousin of the Blessed
Virgin Mary. St. James the Lesser is also called
the brother of the Lord because of his mother's close
relationship with the mother of Jesus.
His father was Cleophas, also known as Alphaeus.
St. James the Lesser Pillar of the
St. James Lesser was considered an important role in
early Christianity in Jerusalem. Saint Paul often consulted
him and called him a Pillar of the Church. He was also
one of the witnesses at the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
St. James Lesser became the first Bishop of Jerusalem
in approximately 50 A.D. Historians refer to St. James
Lesser as James the Just.
St. James Lesser Author
It is also believed that St. James the Lesser is the
author of the Epistle of St. James. Theologians determined
him as the author because of the language, writing style,
and teachings the epistle contains. It is not known
when the Epistle of St. James was written.
St. James the Lesser Martyr
St. James the Lesser became a martyr for Jesus Christ
while preaching in Egypt. He was accused of turning
against the laws of Moses and sentenced to death.
The feast of St. James the Lesser is celebrated on May
3 by Roman Catholics. Many Catholics pray to St. James
the Lesser and wear a St. James Lesser medal or a St.
James Lesser pendant in veneration of this early Christian
martyr and apostle of Jesus Christ.
Prayer to St. James the Lesser
O Glorious Saint James Lesser, you were our Lord's cousin
and at the same time his friend and follower. You wrote
that every good and perfect gift comes to us from the
Father of lights, and that faith without works is useless.
You preached the divinity of Jesus until your death
as a martyr. Obtain for us from the Father of lights
the great gift of a living faith in Jesus' divinity
which will inspire us to unstinting labor in the service
of God and our fellow human beings and enable us to
reach our heavenly destiny. Amen.