In the group of apostles, Jesus had three special friends or intimates who were present at several key events in his journey. These were Peter, James and John.
James and John were brothers. Two of the events where these three were present were the raising of Jairus’ daughter and the Transfiguration. These were the men that Jesus depended on, his close friends that were what we would call today in Ireland, ‘his mates.’
One of the lessons in life that we all learn in life is that we need people we can trust and talk too and with whom we can take down all masks: people who know us as we really are and from whom we hide nothing.
These people are necessary for our emotional and spiritual wellbeing. In the Christian life we should all have spiritual directors, or confessors, people with whom we share our spiritual journey.
James is also famous for his letter which is a masterpiece of practical spiritual living. It gives a lot of advice on holding our tongue and how we should treat others.
Poor James was also the first of the apostles to be killed, being beheaded by Herod Agrippa in about AD 42, just a few years after Jesus left this world. James body supposedly lies at Santiago de Compostela in Spain and there is a long tradition of people making pilgrimages on foot to this site.