Saint James was tonsured on Mt. Athos at the Docheiariou monastery. Transferring to the neglected Georgian skete of Saint John the Baptist, the monk restored it under the supervision of the Elder Ignatius.
Fulfilling various obediences in the monastery, Saint James scaled the heights of purity. He was granted heavenly revelations, just like the Apostle Paul, so the saint also saw the mansions of Paradise and the depths of Hades. By a gift from above, Saint James perceived the heart’s mysteries and the secret thoughts of those who came to him.
The saint also was found worthy of the gift of wonderworking. Visiting with disciples in Aetolia, he worked many miracles, healing the sick and instructing all. The Turkish authorities fabricated false charges against the monk that he allegedly intended to foment rebellion. In this manner, they attempted to force the saint into renouncing Orthodoxy. But Saint James and both his disciples, Deacon James and Saint Dionysius, endured the fiercest of torments over a period of many days. They suffered martyrdom on November 1, 1520.
The relics of the Monkmartyrs, glorified by miraculous healings, were placed in the monastery of Saint Anastasia, Deliverer from Potions in the small town of Galatista, near Thessalonica. In a short time, the fame of the holy relics attracted about 100 brethren to the monastery under Saint Theonas (April 4), who himself was a disciple of Saint James.