An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

James the Less, Saint

( Very little is known about this apostle. He was the son of Alphaeus. He is called “the Less” to distinguish him from James, the son of Zebedee, and from James, the brother of Jesus. It is also possible that he was small physically or younger than the other two. James labored diligently in and around Jerusalem until he was martyred when he was 96 years old. A saw is used as a symbol for James, recalling the story that he was thrown down from the top of the temple, stoned, beaten, and then cut into pieces with a saw. James the Less is commemorated in the Episcopal calendar of the church year on May 1, along with St. Philip.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.