St. James of the Marches, Pray For Us!
James was known for his missionary collaboration with St. John of Capistrano and his devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus.
The feast day of St. James of the Marches (1391-1476) is Nov. 28. He is the patron of Monteprandone and Naples in Italy.
James was born Dominic Gangala in Monteprandone, on the eastern coast of central Italy. His family was poor. He left home at an early age to escape his abusive father, and was taken in by a priest-uncle, and who arranged for his education. He earned degrees in canon and civil law and joined the Franciscan order, where he took the religious name James, after the Apostle James the Greater. He was ordained a priest in 1420.
He joined St. John of Capistrano as a missionary preaching throughout Europe, including the marches or border regions between political realms. Like John, he was an inquisitor, battling the heresies of his day, and also urged Christians to join the military efforts to repel the invading Ottoman Turks. He was asked to be bishop of Milan, but he declined.
James was known for his severe penances and his devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. He won many converts. To combat high interest rates crushing the poor, James established montes pietatis (mountains of charity), that lent money on pawned items at very low rates.
He spent the last years of his life in Naples. When James died, he was buried in the Franciscan church of Santa Maria la Nova in Naples. In 2001, his remains were transferred to Monteprandone. His body is incorrupt. He was canonized in 1726.
- St. James of the Marches