Saint James the Mutilated


Saint James Intercisus (Latin for cut into pieces), also known as ܒܝܬ ܗܘܙܝܐ in Syriac, was born sometime in the late 300s AD in Persia. We know that he was a military officer of high rank and personal courtier to Yazdegerd I. When King Yezdigerd began to actively persecute Christians in the country, Saint James Intercisus apostatized and renounced his faith with the threat of death. His wife and mother were devastated by this news, as they themselves remained true to their Christian faith.


When King Yezdigerd died, his family again urged him to return to the faith. Tradition holds that his mother and wife worked together and wrote a letter to beg him to return and that he would be forgiven. This letter had some emotional weight and effect on Saint James and he promised to return to the Christian faith. The new king of Persia, Bahram sent for him and asked him if he would remain true to the Persian faith (Zoroastrian). This time though, even when presented with death, Saint James remained true to Christ and said "I am a Christian". The King angrily accused him of being ungrateful, reminding him of all the favors and gifts King Yezdigerd (Bahram's father) had given to him. The King threated a torturous death if he would not renounce Christianity.


Saint James said:


“May I die the death of the just.”

and


“This death which appears so dreadful is very little for the purchase of eternal life.”

The executioner began the sentence by cutting off his finger tips and working towards his head, where he eventually beheaded Saint James. The ruins of the city he was killed in (Beth Lapat) are near the modern day city of Dezful, Iran. Though the King refused to allow local Christians to take the body parts, locals were able to sneak into the city and steal the relics. They eventually made their way to the Cathedral in Braga Portugal.


the Monastery of Saint Jacob Persian in Moldova, the Monastery of Saint Jacob Persian in Lebanon, and the monastery of Saint James the Mutilated in Syria.

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