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James, the son of Alphaeus (Lk 6:15) and Mary (Mk 15:40), is often called James the Lesser or James the Younger to distinguish him from James, the son of Zebedee. According to some traditions, he may have written the Epistle of James and been a brother of Matthew and Judas Thaddeus, who were both sons of Alphaeus. James preached in Palestine and Egypt and was crucified in Egypt in 62 AD, where his body was reportedly sawed into pieces.


According to Apocryphal writings, Joseph, Jesus’ foster father, married Salome (also known as Melcha or Escha) at the age of 40. They had four sons and two daughters over 49 years, with James the Less being the youngest, also referred to as “the Lord’s brother.” This helps clarify references to Jesus’ siblings in the Gospels (Mk 6:3; Mt 13:55-56).

Similar to the other apostles, James the Lesser gave up his possessions and ambitions to follow Jesus, dedicating himself to God’s kingdom and eventually sacrificing his life as a martyr. His unwavering commitment to his mission serves as a reminder of the aspiration to reach heaven and diligently work for it.


Apostle James, son of Alphaeus, is one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, often referred to as “James the Less” to distinguish him from James, son of Zebedee. This distinction is likely due to his stature or age.

James is listed among the Twelve Apostles in the Synoptic Gospels (Mt 10:3, Mk 3:18, Lk 6:15) and the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 1:13). Yet, his identity is a subject of debate, as some propose he could be James the Younger mentioned in Mark 15:40. Some people associate him with James, the brother of Jesus, but there is disagreement on this.

Little is known about his life before becoming a disciple, as the Bible does not provide detailed accounts of his background. After Jesus ascended, James took part in spreading his teachings, but there is a lack of detailed information about his ministry.

According to church tradition, James spread the Gospel in areas such as Egypt and Persia. According to some traditions, he was martyred for his faith, but the exact circumstances and location of his death are not definitively recorded.


James, son of Alphaeus, continued his mission with determination, even though he was not as visible as other apostles. Christians understand that their impact on the faith is determined by their obedience to Christ’s call, not by their visibility or renown. So, serve faithfully in all capacities, whether noticed or unnoticed, trusting that God values every act of service.

James’s life demonstrates that every role in God’s kingdom matters, even if it goes unnoticed. Every Christian has an important function within the body of Christ. Fulfill your calling with diligence, knowing that your work is significant in God’s eyes, regardless of human recognition.

James belonged to a diverse group of apostles, each with their own unique backgrounds and personalities. His presence emphasizes the significance of unity and cooperation among believers, regardless of their disparities. Embrace and honor the diversity in the Christian community, uniting for the shared purpose of spreading the Gospel.

Traditional accounts suggest that James faced significant challenges and possibly martyrdom, emphasizing the importance of enduring faith. Remain committed to your faith and mission, drawing inspiration from the apostles’ example, even in the face of challenges.

James, son of Alphaeus, inspires Christians to live lives characterized by faithfulness, unity, perseverance, and humble service, reflecting the teachings of Jesus and the early apostles. His life serves as a reminder that true importance lies in faithfulness and dedication to Christ.


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