James was the son of Zebedee, brother of John and one of the Twelve Apostles. At the invitation of the Lord Jesus, James left the fishermen’s net, his father and, together with John, immediately followed after the Lord. He belonged to that trinity of apostles to whom the Lord revealed the greatest mysteries; before whom He was transfigured on Tabor and before whom He lamented before His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane.
After receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, he preached the Gospel in various places and traveled to Spain. Upon his return from Spain, the Jews began to quarrel with him concerning Holy Scripture and no one was able to withstand him, not even a certain magician Hermogenes. Hermogenes and his disciple Philip were defeated by the power of truth which James preached and, both of them were baptized. Then the Jews accused him before Herod and persuaded Josias to slander the apostle. Josias, seeing the brave conduct of James and listening to his clear explanation about the truth, repented and believed in Christ. When James was condemned to death, this same Josias was also condemned to death. Enroute to the place of execution, Josias implored James to forgive him the sin of slander. James embraced and kissed him and said: “Peace and forgiveness be to you!” Both of them bowed their heads under the sword and were beheaded for the Lord Whom they loved and Whom they served.
Saint James suffered in Jerusalem in the year 45. His body was translated to Spain, where miraculous healings occurred over his grave and, do so even today.
—From The Prologue from Ohrid by Saint Nikolaj Velimirović.
The Holy Apostle James’ feast days are April 30 and June 30 (the Feast of the Twelve Apostles).