There were two of the Apostles named James. One of them, whom we honor today, was, perhaps because he was the taller of the two, was known as James the Greater. At first his reputation as being the more favored of the two, might have been expressed in Jesus bringing Peter, John, and this James to witness his Transfiguration.
After the other Apostles left, James the Lesser was to become leader of the Church in Jerusalem.
Their hot temper brought today’s James the Greater, along with his brother John, to be known as were known as “The Sons of Thunder.” That impulsiveness might have led to his being the first Apostle put to death. That was in 44 A.D. when Herod Agrippa, anxious for the political support of the Jewish community, seized hold of James, putting him to death with the sword.
3There is a tradition that has James preaching the Gospel in northern Spain. To that tradition was added a belief that the body of James, after his death, was miraculously transported to his shrine at Compestela in northwestern Spain. Arriving at the feast of James has been a favorite goal for pilrims making the long trek there.