Categories: HomiliesPublished On: May 3rd, 2022Tags: , 382 words11.6 min read
Sts. Philip and James

Photo byAaron Burden on Unsplash


Here are links to our readings for the day:

Sts. Philip and James

Today we celebrate the martyrdom of two apostles: St James the Lesser and St Philip.

St James is the cousin of Jesus and brother of Saint Jude Thaddeus. He was raised in a Jewish home of the time with all the training in Scripture and Law that was part of that life. He was blessed to be one of the first to have visions of the risen Christ.

He is recognized as the first Bishop of Jerusalem. He worked with Saint Paul the Apostle to develop Paul’s plans for evangelization. He taught that Gentile converts did not have to obey all Jewish religious laws, though he continued to observe it himself as part of his heritage and may have been a vegetarian. He was known as a just and apostolic man demonstrated by his prayer life and devotion to the poor.

He was martyred having been beaten to death, thus a club almost immediately became his symbol. This led to his patronage of fullers and pharmacists, both of whom use clubs in their professions. He is reported to have spent so much time in prayer that his knees thickened and looked like a camel’s. Soon after the Crucifixion, James said he would fast until Christ returned; the resurrected Jesus appeared to him and fixed a meal for James Himself.

He died in the year 62 at Jerusalem by being thrown from a pinnacle of the Temple, then stoned and beaten with clubs, including fuller’s mallets, while praying for his attackers.

We do not know much about St Philip except he was a disciple of Saint John the Baptist. We read in the gospels that he did bring Saint Nathanael to Christ. Little is known about him, but scriptural episodes give the impression of a shy, naive, but practical individual. Tradition has it that he preached in Greece and Asia Minor.

In the year 80, he was martyred by being stoned to death while tied to a cross at Hierapolis, Phrygia (near modern Pamukkale, Turkey).

St’s. James and Philip pray for us.

May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen