The apostles St. Philip and St. James the Lesser share the same feast day simply because their relics were placed in the same church in Rome.
While many of the twelve apostles have their own separate feast, Sts. Philip and James the Lesser share the same day on May 3.
Why is that? Are they related?
Sts. Philip and James the Lesser are not related by blood, and share the same feast day simply because their relics were transferred to Rome to the same church.
According to the St. Andrew Daily Missal, “May 1 [the saints’ feast day prior to the 1950s], celebrates the solemn translation of their relics to the church of the Holy Apostles at Rome, which is dedicated to them, and where they still rest.”
Originally their shared feast was on May 1, but when that day became dedicated to St. Joseph the Worker, their feast was moved to May 3, the first available day on the general calendar.
While their remains are interred in the same church in Rome, the two apostles had gone their separate ways after the Ascension of Jesus, with St. James staying in Jerusalem and St. Philip preaching in Turkey.