James is the son of Zebedee and is often referred to as “the Greater” as a way of distinguishing him from the other apostle of the same name “the Less” which probably had to do with stature.
James was John the disciple’s older brother. Together the two of them we called the “Sons of Thunder”. It is unlikely he had any of the rabbinical schooling of his time but he did have an ordinary education. He was often singled out among the apostles and for this, he was believed to have been a respected, close friend of Jesus.
James the Greater preached in Spain and helped Christianity to spread. When he returned to Judea, he was ordered to death by Herod. His body later went to Compostela, which was a famous place of pilgrimage through the Middle Ages.
St. James is the patron saint of laborers as well as Spain and lost souls. His feast day is July 25.