(A painting depicting James the Just)
This is a wonderful quote by a great second century Christian chronicler named Saint Hegesippus on James the Just, one of the least talked about figures of the New Testament and the early Church.
“He was called “Just” by all men from the Lord’s time to ours, since many are called James, but he was holy from his mother’s womb. he drank no wine or strong drink, nor did he eat flesh. No razor went upon his head; he did not anoint himself with oil, nor did he go to the baths. He alone was allowed to enter into the place of holiness, for he did not wear wool, but linen, and he used to enter the Temple alone, and was often found upon his bended knees, interceding for the forgiveness of the people, so that his knees became as callused as a camels, because of the constant importuning he did and kneeling before God and asking forgiveness for the people.”
It is important to note that when Hegesippus wrote that James did not “go to the baths” he was most probably implying that James abstained from using Roman baths, which had a negative image as centers of promiscuity.