St James the Great

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Saint James The Great

1. How Did Saint James Became a Saint?

Saint James accepted Our Lord's invitation to become an apostle. He preached the Gospel and he died the death of a martyr which meant automatic sainthood to the early Christian community. ames gave up everything to follow Our Lord. After Our Lord was taken up into heaven. Preached in Samaria, Judea, and Spain. First Apostle to be martyred. He was stabbed with a sword by King Herod Agrippa I in Jerusalem in the year 44. 1492 was also the year the Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas. Columbus and his conquistadors had a special devotion to the image of Mary that had appeared in the mountains of Spain that same year. Tradition tells us that St. Luke the evangelist made the image.

The advocation of the image was "A Virgin of Guadalupe," named after the small river that passes through the mountain, meaning "A River of Light." The conquerors, Colon and Cortes, visited the sanctuary of the Virgin of Guadalupe before departing on to the new land. 

In 1519, Cortes arrived at Veracruz, today known as Lantigua, and constructed the first church dedicated to St. James the Apostle. Then in 1521 when Mexico was conquered from the Aztecs, Cortes constructed a Church in ruins due to the war with the Aztecs, which he dedicated to St. James. This is the Church to which St. Juan Diego was heading on December 9th, 1531 to receive religious education classes and participate in the Holy Mass for the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception.  St. James prepared the way for the Blessed Virgin Mary both in Spain and in the 'new world.’ He is the apostle of the Blessed Virgin Mary that goes in front of Mary to prepare the way. He is also known also as the apostle of peace.
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