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Catholic Dictionary




The son of Zebedee and older brother of John. Both were Apostles; whenever the twelve are listed, these names are paired. Jesus called them "the Sons of Thunder" (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:17). On one occasion he rebuked them for urging violence against some Samaritans who refused to receive him. Both were fishermen and partners with Simon Peter; the trio responded promptly to Jesus' invitation to become fishers of men (Luke 5:10-11, 9:53-56). That the brothers were especially close to him is indicated by the fact that they were present at the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-2) and accompanied him to Gethsemane (Matthew 26:37). James was beheaded by Herod in the early days of the Church (Acts 12:2).