James Intercisus

Saint James Intercisus, also called James the Mutilated or James the Persian (Syriac: Mor Yakob M'phasko Sahada; Latin: Sanctus Jacobus Intercisus), (died in year 421) was a Syriac Christian saint born in Beth Huzaye (Syriac: ܒܝܬ ܗܘܙܝܐ) in Persia. His epithet, Intercisus, is derived from the Latin word for "cut into pieces," which refers to the manner of his martyrdom: he was slowly cut into twenty-eight pieces. His death, along with the persecution of other Christians in the Sasanid Empire, started the Roman-Sassanid War (421-422).

James the Mutilated
James the Persian (Menologion of Basil II).jpg
The martyrdom of James, from the Menologion of Basil II.
BornBeth Huzaye (Persia)
Beth Lapat (Persia)
Venerated inEast Syriac Christianity
Eastern Orthodox Church
Catholic Church
Oriental Orthodoxy
Feast27 November
27 Hathor (Coptic Christianity)[1]

His feast day is November 27.


Tradition states that he was a military officer and courtier to Yazdegerd I who had apostatized after this ruler began to persecute Christians. Under the influence of his Christian family, however, he expressed his faith to Yazdegerd's successor, Bahram V, leading to his execution.[2]


He was killed in Beth Lapat (Gundishapur). The ruins of this city are near Dezful, Iran.

At his execution, he survived the loss of limbs until he was beheaded. His followers requested his body parts as relics, but this request was denied, so they stole the body parts,[3] which were somehow sent to the Portuguese cathedral of Braga and put into a sarcophagus in the Relics Chapel.


James' story is recounted in The Golden Legend.

According to Katherine Rabenstein, he may be a composite character of James of Beit (who, having renounced Christianity under Yazdegerd, was shamed by his parents and changed his mind, becoming a martyr under the persecution of Bahram); Mar Peros (similarly shamed by his parents and martyred in 448); and James of Karka (a 20-year-old notary to Bahram, tortured alongside many others after casually remarking that he'd rather be cut into pieces than renounce God).[3]

Holy Relics, Churches and MonasteriesEdit

A piece of bone from the finger of St. James the Mutilated (St.Yakob M'phasko) is placed in a golden casket, which is kept in the holy cross (kurishupalli) that was dedicated to Mor Yakob M'phasko Sahada by Mor Dionysious Joseph (Pulikkottil II) and Mor Gregorios Geevargese (Parumala Thirumeni)] on December 10 1897, in the premises of St. Peter's & St. Paul's Orthodox Syrian Old Church in Pengamuck, Kerala, India.

These holy relics were brought to Pengamuck by the metropolitan Mor Dionysious Joseph (as he has his roots in Pengamuck) after it was gifted to him at his consecration as Metropolitan by the patriarch of Antioch Ignatius Yakoob II.

The Church of St. James Intercisus in the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem was dedicated to him.[4]

The Monastery of St. Jacob the Persian in Sireți, Strășeni Moldova

The Monastery of St. Jacob the Persian in Deddeh, Lebanon

The monastery of St James the Mutilated in Qara, Syria are all dedicated to him.


  1. ^ "Hator 27 : Lives of Saints : Synaxarium - CopticChurch.net".
  2. ^ John J. Delaney, Dictionary of saints, (Image, 2005), 323.
  3. ^ a b Rabenstein, Katherine I. (1998). "saintpatrickdc.org". St. Patrick Catholic Church. Retrieved 19 March 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Adrian J. Boas, Jerusalem in the time of the Crusades, (Routledge, 2001), 128.

External linksEdit


  • Thieleman J. van Braght, Martyr's Mirror, 1660