St. James the Apostle and his brother John were one of the first disciples of Jesus and are related to Jesus. Their mothers Salome and Mary were believed to be sisters. James was one of the three called by Jesus to witness his Transfiguration. Following Christ’s Ascension, James spread the Gospel across Israel and the Roman kingdom as well. He travelled and spread the Word for nearly forty years in Spain.
Virgin Mary was said to have appeared to St. James on the bank of the Ebro river. He beheld a vision of her upon a pillar named the Nuestra Senora del Pilar.
In 44 C.E., Herod Agrippa put him to death by beheading and thus becoming the first martyr amongst all the disciples of Jesus.