Question About St. James

A reader writes:

My question deals with what I saw on a documentary program   River of Light on EWTN about St. James’ Missionary Journey to Spain and when   he got there; the people doing the documentary said that the Apostles had to   get 12 disciples and St. James could only get 11 due to the stubbornness of   the people in the region.  Why did the Apostles have to have 12   disciples to number the same number of the Apostles and is the Mission Call   for us to make disciples still necessary that Christ gave his Apostles and Disciples   at the time he ascended into Heaven?

I’m afraid I know nothing about this.  Don’t put too much stock in local legends.  It may be that this is historical.  Perhaps St. James, in founding Churches, preferred to imitate Jesus and pick twelve men to evangelize and pastor the Churches.  But there’s no way of knowing if the story is true, much less what James’ motivations may have been if it is true.  My guess is simply a guess.

  • MommaChaves

    If I may offer an explanation, I think the real point of the statement is about the stubbornness he found in the people; not necessarily the number if disciples he was looking for. The Spanish like to say that St James found a very hard-headed people on the Iberian Peninsula. And stories abound about that. It’s part of why they have such a devotion to him. They still consider that a defining characteristic, and yet Spain (and Portugal) is a catholic country – one that has produced many great saints (and at least 3 doctors of the church)!


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