This Thursday, December 28, the Armenian Church commemorates the Holy Apostle James and John the Evangelist. Both held prominent positions among the twelve apostles, and they were called “Sons of Thunder” by Jesus (Mark 3:17) probably because they were impetuous and quick tempered as suggested in Luke 9:54 and Mark 10:35-41. James was a Galilean fisherman, who was called along with his brother John, to be two of the twelve apostles. They, together with Peter, formed the inner core among the twelve who were present at the raising of the daughter of Jairus, the Transfiguration, and the agony of Gethsemane. James was the first of the apostles to be martyred by order of Herod Agrippa (Acts 12:1-2). He is the patron saint of Spain and according to tradition his body was brought from Jerusalem to Santiago de Compostela, which became and continues to be a popular destination for pilgrims. John is also known as “The Divine.” It was to John that Jesus on the cross entrusted the care of his mother. Paul names Peter, John, and James as the “pillars” of the Church (Galatians 2:9). 

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