James, by birth a Galilean, a son of Zebedee and Salome, was brother to Saint John the apostle, with whom he was called by Jesus to follow Him. He was present at the transfiguration on Mount Thabor, at the raising of the daughter of Jairus from the dead, and other like miracles, and at the bloody sweat in the Garden. After the sending of the Holy Ghost he preached the doctrines of Jesus in Judea, Samaria, and in Jerusalem, where Herod caused him to be beheaded in the year 44. His body was brought to Compostella, in Spain, where it is venerated by vast numbers of the faithful, who make pilgrimages to his grave. Saint James was the first of the apostles who shed his blood for Christ.
The Introit of the Mass is as follows:
“To me Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honorable; their principality is exceedingly strengthened. Lord, Thou hast proved me and known me: Thou hast known my sitting down and my rising up.”
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Be Thou, O Lord, the sanctifier and guardian of Thy people, that, defended by the protection of Thy apostle James, they may please Thee by their conduct, and serve Thee with secure minds. Through our Lord, etc.
Epistle: I Corinthians 4:9-15
Brethren: I think that God hath set forth us apostles the last, as it were men appointed to death; we are made a spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are honorable, but we without honor. Even unto this hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have, no fixed abode, and we labor working with our own hands; we are reviled, and we bless; we are persecuted, and we suffer it. We are blasphemed, and we entreat; we are made as the refuse of this world, the off-scouring of all even until now. I write not these things to confound you, but I admonish you as my dearest children; for if you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet not many fathers. For in Christ Jesus by the Gospel I have begotten you.
Gospel: Matthew 20:20-23
At that time: There came to Jesus the mother of the sons of Zebedee with her sons, adoring and asking; something of Him.
Who said to her: What wilt thou?
She saith to Him: Say that these my two sons may sit, the one on Thy right hand, and the other on Thy left, in Thy kingdom.
But Jesus answering, said: You know not what you ask. Can you drink the chalice, that I shall drink?
They say to Him: We can.
He saith to them: My chalice indeed you shall drink; but to sit on My right or left hand is not Mine to give to you but to them for whom it is prepared by My Father.
From this gospel we learn that if we wish to become partakers with Christ of the kingdom of heaven we must drink with Him of the chalice of pain and suffering.
Prayer to Saint James
O heroic apostle, who first of all didst, after the example of Jesus, drink of the chalice of suffering, but now, in the kingdom of His Father, livest upon the holy mountain of Sion, obtain for me, I beseech thee, from Jesus the grace not to shrink from the chalice of suffering and tribulation, but patiently to accept whatever the hand of God may present to me, whether agreeable or disagreeable, and thereby to become worthy one day to be inebriated with the streams of heavenly joy.
– Goffine's Devout Instructions