St James the Great Apostle of Christ – 25th July. Saint James was the son of Zebedee a local Galileanand of the beloved disciple St John.firmly believed that his mother was a cousinthe Virgin Mary.his calling James stayed without Jesus throughout his ministry andwith Peter and John his brother, was one of the closest disciples to Christ accompanying him atTransfiguration and in the garden of Gethsemane. Due to their fiery temperaments the two sons of Zebedee earned the nickname “Boarnerges “(sons of thunder.) According to tradition he was the first disciple to be martyredthe sword of Herod Agrippa in AD 44.better known as Santiago in Spain is the patron saint of Iberia ,according to traditionsaint James preached thehere as well as the Holy Land. The Virgin Mary appeared to him on the bank of the Ebro River at Zaragoza upon a Pillar and encouraged him to move forward with his mission of evangelisation. It is believed that his remainstransported from the Holy Land tode Compostela in Galicia where a shrine has been built and dedicated to him.The traditional Pilgrimage known as ” The way of St James” has become one of the most popular pilgrimages in Western Europe since the early middle ages.
St. Joachim and St Anne – 26thJuly. St Anne and St Joachim were the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary the Mother of Godgrandparents of Jesus. No historical details are given of their lives in the Bible but the Gospel of St James a second century apocryphal documentrecords their namesrelationVirginMary. We know they were upright God fearing individuals and loyal loving parents.are seen as the perfect examples of parenthood andmarriage.traditionus that after years of being childlessangelto Anne while she was in prayer and told her that God would grant her and Joachim the gift of a child. Anne was so happy that she dedicated this child to God and when the baby Maryborn she was devoid of all original sin.Through Divine Providence thatlittle child was chosen to be the Mother of our Lordremained ever Virgin.is believed Joachim died shortly after Christ’s death.Anne is also believed to be the patron saintof unmarried women ,housewives ,sailors and miners. Anne’s relics were originally brought from the Holy Land to Constantinople in 710 and were housed in in the Church of St Sophia as late as 1333.then travelling crusaders and pilgrims have transported them to several Churches throughout France where shrines have been dedicated to her. Anne is often depicted with the child Mary on her knee reading Bible stories .
St Ignatius Loyola – 31st July. Born Inigo Lopez de Loyola in 1491 to a noble family in Northern Spain in a small villageLoyolasaintthe original founderandthe Jesuits. Having aspired to be a great leaderhe joined the army at a young age, howeverwhile defending Pamplona in a battle against the French in 1521 his legs were badly wounded and his military career was cut short.to his injuries he was forced to leave the army,while he was recuperating however he began to read the Bible and the lives of the saints and underwent a deep spiritual conversion. Ignatiusbattle sword to literally become a General of Christmany to Christianity. Inhe was ordained as a priest and along with his fellow friends Saint Peter Faber and St Francis Xavier founded “The society of Jesus”. In 1540 the group travelled to Rome andPaul 111 approved the Jesuit order. Ignatius was an erudite man and an excellent theologian he wrote various acknowledged works including his famous ” Spiritual Exercises” this workstill highly valued byand followed today. when Ignatius died in Rome inhis order had established 35 schools with over a 1000 members ,he was canonized by Pope Pius X1 in 1622.