Feast Day May 1st
Saint James the Less, son of Alpheus, was a cousin of Our Lord. He became the first bishop of Jerusalem and wrote the Epistle of Saint James, which stresses that faith without works is vain and meaningless. Saint James was martyred in the year 62 A.D.
Thou, O James, wisely teachest us that every best gift, and every perfect gift comes down upon mankind from the Father of lights. Beg of Him, we beseech thee, that they who celebrate thy memory may partake of those gifts.
Thou wast Jesus’ cousin according to the flesh, and wast favored with His holy friendship. Thou didst communicate to all men the grace of the divine light and knowledge, and didst root up the error of idols. Therefore did the false princes of darkness unjustly slay thee, whilst thou wast preaching the divinity of the Savior.
The Only Begotten Son of the Father, God, the Word, who dwelt among us during this last age, appointed thee, O holy James, as the first pastor of Jerusalem; He willed thee to be her master, and faithful dispenser of the divine mysteries. Therefore do we venerate thee, O Apostle!
The choir of the Apostles chose thee to be the first who, on holy Sion, should minister as priest to their great benefactor Christ; for thou wast His cousin according to the flesh, and the faithful companion of His journeys.
Resplendent with the bright light of the Holy Spirit, thou, O James, cousin of our Lord, wast the zealous minister of the divine goodness. Like unto Aaron of old, thou didst therefore receive from the Lord, who, in His mercy, admitted thee into the Brotherhood of His Apostles, a garment more sacred than that of the priesthood of the Law. Beseech Him, O glorious Apostle, that He mercifully save our souls!