Today is the feast of two Apostles, Saints Philip and James. The two are connected on this feast day as they shared the patronage of an ancient Roman basilica, which is known today as the Church of the Twelve Apostles. The church was built around their relics. Their names are mentioned in the first list in the Canon of the Mass.
Philip, a fisherman, came from the same town as Peter and Andrew, Bethsaida in Galilee and was one of the twelve apostles Jesus called. On the way from Judea to Galilee Our Lord found Philip, and said, “Follow Me”. Philip obeyed Jesus and immediately began to convert others, finding his friend Nathaniel and telling him that Jesus was the one whom Moses and the other prophets had foretold. Philip was among those who attended the wedding at Cana. He was martyred in the first century.
He is the patron saint of hatters and pastry chefs.
St. James was also one of the twelve. He is called the “Less” because he was younger than the other apostle by the same name, who was known as James the Great. St. James the Less, a brother of the Apostle Jude, was from Cana of Galilee. He is the author of one of the Epistles in the New Testament. St. Paul tells us that James was favored by a special apparition of the Risen Christ (I Cor. 15:7). After Jesus’ Ascension into heaven, he became the first bishop of Jerusalem. He was martyred in 62.
He is the patron saint of dying people, milliners, and pharmacists.
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.
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