Wednesday, May 3, 2006
Sts. Philip and James, Apostles

Double of the II Class (1954 Calendar): May 1
1st Class Feast (1962 Calendar): May 11
Feast (1969 Calendar): May 3

Back when the Feasts of the Apostles were kept as Holy Days of Obligation, this day was a Holy Day of Obligation on May 1st. It was kept as such in Rome longer than in other places, but some localities kept the day as well. 

With the advent of the 1955 Calendar, Pope Pius XII instituted the feast of “St. Joseph the Worker” on May 1 (moving the feast of “Saints Philip and James” from May 1, where it had been since the sixth century, to May 11; and suppressing the Patronage of St. Joseph that, since Pope Pius IX’s decree of September 10, 1847, had been celebrated on the second Wednesday after the Octave of Easter).

St. Philip

St. Philip was one of the first disciples that Jesus called. Jesus said, "Follow Me" and Philip didn't ask questions. He knew the Lord and He followed. St. Philip didn't just use nice words, but rather, he acted and followed Jesus. Action is what is important.

"The next day Jesus was about to leave for Galilee, and He found Philip. And Jesus said to him: 'Follow Me'. Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael, and said to him: 'We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and the Prophets wrote, Jesus the Son of Joseph of Nazareth'. And Nathanael said to him: 'Can anything good come out of Nazareth?' Philip said to him: 'Come and see'" (John 1:43). St. Philip suffered martyred in c. 80 AD at Hierapolis, Phrygia.

Patron: Hatters; Luxembourg; pastry chefs; Uruguay.

Traditional Breviary Reading:

Philip was born in Bethsaida, and was one of the twelve Apostles that were first called by Christ our Lord. It was from Philip that Nathanael learned that the Messias who was promised in the Law had come; and by him also he was led to our Lord. We have a clear proof of the familiarity wherewith Philip was treated by Christ, in the fact that the Gentiles addressed themselves to this Apostle when they wished to see the Saviour. Again when our Lord was about to feed the multitude in the desert, he spoke to Philip, and said: ‘Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?' After having received the Holy Ghost, he went into Scythia, which was the country allotted to him, wherein to preach the Gospel; and converted almost the entire people to the Christian faith. Having finally reached Hierapolis in Phrygia, he was crucified there for the name of Christ, and then stoned to death on the Kalends of May (May I). The Christians buried his body in the same place; but it was afterwards taken to Rome, and, together with the body of the Apostle St James, was placed in the Basilica of the Twelve Apostles.

St. James the Lesser

He is called "the Lesser" simply to distinguish him from the other St. James. The other St. James is called "St. James the Greater" only because he was called by our Lord before this St. James. St. James the Lesser was a brother of the St. Jude the Apostle, and he would later write the Epistles of St. James, part of the New Testament. After the dispersion of the apostles, St. James was made the bishop of Jerusalem. St. James loved Jesus so much that he gave up his life. Because he refused to deny Christ's divinity, the Jews cast him down from a temple and clubbed him to death in c. 62 AD.

Traditional Matins Reading:

James, the brother of our Lord, was called the Just. From his childhood he never drank wine or strong drink; he abstained from flesh meat: he never cut his hair, or used oil to anoint his limbs, or took a bath. He was the only one permitted to enter the Holy of holies. His garments were of linen. So assiduous was he in prayer, that the skin of his knees was as hard as that of a camel. After Christ’s Ascension, the Apostles made him bishop of Jerusalem; and it was to him that the Prince of the Apostles sent the news of his having been delivered out of prison by an angel. A dispute having arisen in the Council of Jerusalem concerning the Mosaic Law and circumcision, James sided with Peter, and in a speech which he made to the brethren, proved the vocation of the Gentiles, and said that the absent brethren were to be told not to impose the yoke of the Mosaic Law upon the Gentiles. It is of him that the Apostle speaks in his Epistle to the Galatians, when he says: Bat other of the Apostles I saw none, saving James, the brother of the Lord.

Such was James's holy life, that people used to strive with each other to touch the hem of his garment. At the age of ninety-six years—of which he had spent thirty governing the Church of Jerusalem in the most saintly manner—as he was one day preaching, with great courage, Christ the Son of God, he was attacked by stones being thrown at him; after which he was taken to the highest part of the Temple, and cast headlong down. His legs were broken by the fall; and as he was lying half dead upon the ground, he raised up his hands towards heaven, and thus prayed for his executioners: ' Forgive them, O Lord! for they know not what they do.’ Whilst thus praying, he received a blow on the head with a fuller’s club, and gave up his soul to his God, in the seventh year of Nero's reign. He was buried near the Temple, from which he had been thrown down. He wrote a Letter, which is one of the seven Catholic Epistles.

Patron: Apothecaries, druggists, dying people, fullers, hatmakers, hatters, milliners, pharmacists, Uruguay.


O God, Who dost gladden us by the yearly festival day of Thine Apostles Philip and James: grant, we beseech Thee, that we who rejoice in their merits, may be taught by their example. Through our Lord.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

1 comment(s):

del_button May 24, 2010 at 2:57 PM
Anonymous said...

qreat feast days

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