Saint and apostle, one of the twelve chosen by Jesus. The nickname "the minor" "the greatest", distinguishes it from Santiago also Apostle and martyr. Santiago del Menor is considered relative (cousin) of Jesus (Mt 13.55; MC 6.3; 1.19 GA) and brother of the Apostle Jude Thaddeus (Judas 1.1; LC 6.16; 1.13 HCH). In the lists of the Apostles is called son of Alphaeus, and in all of them is mentioned headlining the third group from the list of the twelve. Particular references to Santiago del Menor are not found in the Gospels, but in the book of the Hechosy in some of the letters. St. Paul, in the list of appearances of the Lord among the resurrection and Ascension, reminiscent of Santiago (1 Cor 15: 7). Along with Pedro and Juan, is considered one of the "columns" of the Church in Jerusalem (2.9 Ga). When, in the year 44, Pedro escaped from prison, he/she wanted that he/she is warned to him to Santiago, that it already had a marked prominence in the Church of Jerusalem (acts 12.17). In this city (year 51) Council, defended the proposal that the gentiles converted to Christianity were not obliged to circumcision and the observance of the law of Moses. On the same occasion, Santiago, Pedro and Juan gave Paul and Barnabas hand as a sign of solidarity, so these would be devoted to the pagans and those Jews (2.9 Ga). The return from his third journey, Paul goes to visit Santiago and others responsible for the Jerusalem church, and follow the advice that the Apostle and the elders give (acts 21, 17ß).
It is attributed to Santiago the first of the seven cards that are called "Catholic" in the catalogue of the canonical books. It manifests as a man deeply familiar with the old testament, delivered to the prayer, love for the poor, patient by the persecution, with the temple of the just and Apostolic man. (There is, also, the apocryphal Protoevangelium of Santiago book). The ecclesiastical tradition gives us many details about his life, particularly Josephus, Hegesippus , and Clement of Alexandria. All non-canonical sources agree he/she was Bishop of Jerusalem. Hegesippus, a converted Jew, who lived in the middle of the 2nd century, tells us that Santiago was called "the just", and describes him as a man of intense mortification: "their clothes were linen and no wool; He/She spent long hours in the temple, where he/she was on his knees always asking forgiveness for the people, so much so that the skin of his knees had callus as the camel much being bedridden to worshipping God and intercede for his people". His asceticism earned him the esteem of everyone, even Orthodox Jews. Eusebius speaks widely among the Jews apostolic zeal and numerous conversions operated between them, even some of the chiefs. This greatly upset the scribes and Pharisees, who ended his life by throwing him from the pinnacle of the temple and finishing stones and batons. Such was the admiration that he/she raised his Holiness and justice among the Jews, that the most sensible of them - according to Eusebio-thought that her death attracted the punishment on Jerusalem. The same Josephus shared this view, for he/she wrote: "all this happened to the Jews in retaliation of Santiago, the righteous; He/She was brother of Jesus, called the Christ and, although he/she was most, the Jews killed him"(transcribed by Eusebius). During the reign of Justin (565-578), a church in Jerusalem in honor of Santiago was built, and there were transferred the relics of the same with those of the Holy Innocents, Simeon, and Zechariah. Towards the year 560, the relics were carried to Rome and placed in the Church of the twelve apostles, whose dedication was celebrated on May 1. Since then, in the Latin Church, is celebrated the feast of Santiago del Menor, along with the san Felipe apostol, the first of May. About relics in subsequent history, little is known with certainty, except that years later her head he/she was venerated in the Cathedral of Ancona. The institution of the feast of san José obrero, set on May 1 by Pope Pius XII in 1955, made that the feast of the two Apostles were transferred to 3 May. Santiago del Menor is considered Patron Saint of the hatters.