Tuesday, October 23, 2012

St James, Brother of our Lord

In the Life of the Church, we commemorate the Holy Apostle James, the Brother of God on October 23rd. He was the son of Righteous Joseph the Betrothed. From his early years James was a Nazarene, a man especially dedicated to God. The Nazarenes vowed to preserve their virginity, to abstain from wine, to refrain from eating meat, and not to cut their hair. The vow of the Nazarenes symbolized a life of holiness and purity, commanded formerly by the Lord for all Israel. When the Savior began to teach the nation about the Kingdom of God, St James believed in Christ and became His apostle. He was chosen as the first Bishop of Jerusalem.

St James, Brother of our Lord
Image Source

St James presided over the Council of Jerusalem and his word was decisive (Acts 15). In his thirty years as bishop, St. James converted many of the Jews to Christianity. Annoyed by this, the Pharisees and the Scribes plotted together to kill St James. They led the saint up on the pinnacle of the Jerusalem Temple and asked what he thought of Jesus. The holy Apostle began to bear witness that Christ is the Messiah, which was not the response the Pharisees were expecting. Greatly angered, the Jewish teachers threw him off the roof. The saint did not die immediately, but gathering his final strength, he prayed to the Lord for his enemies while they were stoning him. St James' martyrdom occurred about 63 AD.

The holy Apostle James composed a Divine Liturgy, which formed the basis of the Liturgies of Sts Basil the Great and John Chrysostom. The Church has preserved an Epistle of St James, one of the books of the New Testament.

Life of St. James taken from OCA - Feasts & Saints

A special shout-out to my boss-man, Rev Fr James Shadid, pastor of St George Houston & my best friend, Dr. James Salman on the occasion of his Name's Day! God grant you both many years!

- A Day in the Life of the Youth Director

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