The Holy Apostles James along with John, Peter and Paul were considered to be pillars of the Church. Saint James was the son of Joseph who was Betrothed by his first wife and therefore is called the brother of the Lord in the Gospel. According to tradition, the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to him after His Resurrection and set him as the first Patriarch of Jerusalem.
Apostle James' ascetic life strengthened his significance even more. He was a strict virgin, did not drink either wine or other spirituous beverages, abstained from meat and wore only linen clothing. He had the custom of going off by himself for prayer, and he would pray for his people on bended knee. He was so often stretched out on the ground in prayer that the skin on his knees became calloused. St. James died in 63 AD.