The 12 Apostles: The Meaning Behind Their Names, How They Died, and Where Their Relics Are Located





Saint James, the Greater and Lesser

saint james

Both names are derived from the Hebrew name ya’aqov for the Old Testament Patriarch Jacob. Acts 12:2 says that James the Greater was killed with a sword. The newly-appointed governor of Judea, Herod Agrippa, decided to gain favor with the Romans by persecuting leaders of Christianity. After James was arrested and led to the place of execution, his unnamed accuser was moved by his courage. He not only repented and converted on the spot, but asked to be executed alongside James. The Roman executioners obliged, and both men were beheaded simultaneously. His remains can be found in Saint James Church in Compostela, Spain.

Less is known about Saint James the Lesser except that he was one of the oldest apostles. At the age of 94, he was beaten and stoned by persecutors, and then was killed from a blow to the head with a club. His remains can be found at the Holy Apostles Basilica in Rome.



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