Saint James the Less (the Younger)

One of Jesus’ twelve apostles and his cousin, the brother of St. Jude Thaddeus; he is often associated with the James of whom it is written that he was a “brother of the Lord”, and with the James whose mother stood before the cross at Calvary. He apparently bore a close physical resemblance to Jesus – which is said to be the reason Judas promised the guards that he would kiss Jesus before his arrest (in order to identify him). He was a man of prayer and asceticism and went on to become the first Bishop of Jerusalem. He died with St. Philip in the year 62 or 63 in Jerusalem, and according to legend was thrown down from the ramparts, stoned and finally beaten to death by a fuller’s club (which is his most frequent attribute) on the orders of the Jewish high priest. It is also reported that he died praying for those who killed him. A book or a scroll are among James’ other attributes and he is sometimes depicted falling from the ramparts or as a small child with a mill. He is the patron saint of hatters, shopkeepers, fullers, tanners, confectioners and dying people.


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