Apostles: 1st Century
+ Philip was born in the town of Bethsaida in Galilee.
+ According to the Gospel of John, Philip was called by Jesus the day after he called Peter and Andrew and he responded immediately, believing Jesus to be the Messiah.
+ Philip is also the one who approached Nathaniel with the news that he had found “the one of whom Moses and the prophets spoke” (John 12:20-22).
+ Following the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, Jesus said to Philip, “He who sees me sees the Father” (John 14:8-11).
+ According to legend, Philip preached the Gospel in Greece after Pentecost and is said to have been crucified in Hierapolis.
Saint James “the Less”:
+ James was the son of Alphaeus and is called the “brother of the Lord” (Mark 15:40).
+ After the Ascension of Jesus, James served as the head of the Church in Jerusalem and supported Saint Peter’s decision regarding Gentile converts and the observance of Jewish laws.
+ Ancient tradition relates that James was martyred in Jerusalem around the year 62.
+ The New Testament Letter of James is attributed to James the Less.
The Saint James whom we celebrate today is known as “the Less” to avoid confusion with the other Apostle named James—called “James the Great”—because of his close relationship with Jesus. The Feast of Saint James “the Great” is celebrated on July 25.
“Truth and love are the two faces of the same gift that comes from God and, thanks to the apostolic ministry, is safeguarded in the Church and handed down to us, to our present time!”—Pope Benedict XVI
The Saints in Art
Drawing on ancient traditions, Saint Philip is often depicted holding a fish (representing the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes) or holding a cross (representing the way he was martyred). Saint James the Less is often portrayed holding a club, indicating how he was martyred.
O God, who gladden us each year
with the feast day of the Apostles Philip and James,
grant us, through their prayers,
a share in the Passion and Resurrection
of your Only Begotten Son,
so that we may merit to behold you for eternity.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.