St. James Intercisus was a soldier and courtier in Persia in the early fifth century. Although he was a Christian, James renounced his faith when King Yezdigerd I launched a persecution against Christians.
While James denied his beliefs, his family remained faithful. When the king had died, and the persecution ended, they reached out to him and chastised him for giving up on the King of Heaven to serve the king of Persia.
His family’s rebuke struck James’ conscience, and he re-converted, professing his love and commitment to God. As part of his conversion, he told the new king, Bahram, of his faith. Bahram sentenced him to death.
James was hung from a beam and slowly cut in 28 pieces, from his fingers and toes to his hands and finally to his head. He received the name ‘Intercisus’ because it means ‘hacked to pieces.’
The crowd watching, even the Christians, urged him to renounce his faith again and end his suffering, but James refused to deny his beliefs, instead offering each cut as a sacrifice to God.
St. James is the patron saint of lost vocations and victims of torture.