Saturday, March 05, 2011

St. James the Greater (First century)

The Patron Saint of Arthritis and Rheumatism

One of the first apostles to join Jesus, St. James was also the first such follower to be martyred. Of the twelve apostles, St. James, his brother St. John the Evangelist, and St. Peter formed a privileged inner circle. Christ allowed them to witness miracles the other apostles only heard about later: the raising from the dead of Jairus's young daughter, the healing of St. Peter's mother-in-law, and Christ's display of his heavenly glory at the Transfiguration. While the other apostles carried the gospel to far-off lands, James stuck close to home, preaching in Judea and Samaria. Consequently, when King Herod Agrippa began to round up Christians, James was easy to find. He was arrested, given a quick trial, and beheaded.

Legend tells us that as the king's men led James outside Jerusalem for execution, he passed a man crippled by arthritis or rheumatism who was sitting by the side of the road. The man begged James to cure him. Pausing for a moment on his way to martyrdom, James said, "In the name of Jesus Christ, for whom I am being led to execution, stand up and bless your Creator." As the soldiers dragged James away, the crippled man stood and then ran to the temple in the city to give thanks to God. That's the type of cure people who suffer arthritis pain pray for.

Poem - I'm a Survivor

That moment when I heard the door closing behind with all my memories inside, my heart stopped beating. I can't remember how I made it t...