Feast Day: January 28th

The Life of Saint James the Faster: The Lord thwarted the devil’s intent to destroy the Ascetic, and returned him through repentance to the path of Salvation…



Apolytikion: With the rivers of your tears, you have made the barren desert fertile. Through sighs of sorrow from deep within you, your labors have borne fruit a hundred-fold. By your Miracles you have become a light, shining upon the world. O James, our Holy Father, Pray to Christ our God, to save our Souls.

Hymn of Praise: Who from the greater height falls, is injured more, to the heights whoever is lifted, let him cautiously shield himself. The Holy Apostle writes: “Whoever thinks that he is standing secure should take care not to fall,” (I Corinthians 10:12) let him fear God. James the Faster, according to the height of his Soul, a giant was he, but, he, from the heights slipped, and the devil toppled him; one sin, to the other hastens, adultery rushes to murder, James the Faster, himself, punishes, and God comforted him. All virtues, one sin, is able to erode; one hole in the granary, all the wheat pours out. A house filled with fragrances, one handful of filth empties it of redolence and fills it with stench. One-hundred victories nor one-hundred celebrations do not help when in the final battle, the head is lost. The Spiritual life is a struggle against the hordes of the devil, in this battle, from the beginning the proud are defeated. Whoever invokes the Name of God with profound humility that one, in battle, will be protected by God’s Mercy.


The Prayer of Saint James the Ascetic from within the tomb.

“How can I presume to gaze upon Your Holy Icon, O Master, with my polluted eyes? How can I begin to confess my sins? With what heart and conscience can I approach? How will I move my impious tongue and soiled lips towards Your praise? For what sins shall I ask forgiveness first? How will I open my foul mouth to ask Your forgiveness for my wickedness? O Lord, Lover of Mankind, have pity upon me and bestow Your mercy upon me, unworthy as I am. Cast me not into perdition, though I am ungodly and iniquitous. I, the thrice-wretched, have committed fornication and murder, thereby defiling my Soul in two-fold measure! I am not worthy to walk on Your Earth! I dare not lift these profane and indecent eyes of mine to You in the Heavens; but I take refuge in Your infinite compassion. Have mercy on me, though I am irreverent and undeserving. Have pity and compassion on me, who am filled with passions, and leave me not to the noetic dragon who will greedily devour me with his charming delights. But, with Your almighty hand, raise me up from this unclean and insatiable abyss!”