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Sunday, May 12, 2019

Sts. Philip and James, Apostles (May 11)

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Sts. Phillip and James

The feast of these two Apostles is celebrated together because their relics were brought to Rome together on this day. They are kept in the Basilica of the Holy Apostles.

St. Philip was born in the small town of Bethsaida in Galilee. He was called by Our Lord the day after St. Peter and St. Andrew. According to tradition, he was married and had several daughters, three of whom reached eminent sanctity. St. Philip led Nathaniel to Christ. He said: “We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, and also the prophets -  Jesus son of Joseph from Galilee.” Nathanael famously replied: “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” St. Philip said: “Come and see.”  After the Ascension St. Philip preached the Gospel in Phyrgia, a part of Asia Minor. St Philip died a martyr during the reign of the Roman emperor, Domitian. Tradition says he was crucified upside down, like St. Andrew.

St. James the Lessser, or the Younger, also known as St. James the Just, was the son of Alpheus and Mary, who was a close relative of Our Lady. According to tradition he was the first bishop of Jerusalem, and he was the author of the Epistle that bears his name. St. James was martyred in Jerusalem around Passover during the time Nero was Emperor of Rome. He was arrested and ordered to stand on top of a wall and preach against Christ. St. James climbed the wall as ordered and then preached on the death and resurrection of Christ. Soldiers threw him off the wall. He did not die, so they stoned him to death.

Sts. Philip and James, pray for us.

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