Garo Nalbandian

Golden light streams down on worshipers in the Armenian Cathedral of St. James, in Jerusalem. The church is dedicated to two New Testament saints named James: the apostle James the Great (son of Zebedee) and James, the brother of the Lord. The Book of Acts 12:2 describes the beheading of James the Great by order of Herod Agrippa I; tradition says the cathedral marks the spot where this James was martyred. The cathedral also claims that the bones of James, the brother of Jesus, are buried beneath its main altar. It is difficult (if not impossible), however, to trace the connection between either James and the church, which was built only in the 12th century, on the site of a Byzantine chapel dedicated to the Egyptian martyr St. Menas.