Feast of St. Philip and St. James, Son of Alpheus, Apostles and Martyrs (May 1)   9 comments

Above:  James, Son of Alpheus, a.k.a. James the Less

Two of the Twelve


The Assigned Readings for This Feast:

Isaiah 30:18-21

Psalm 119:33-40

2 Corinthians 4:1-6

John 14:6-14

The Collect:

Almighty God, who gave to your apostles Philip and James grace and strength to bear witness to the truth: Grant that we, being mindful of their victory of faith, may glorify in life and death the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


We know little about these two foundational figures of the Christian faith.

St. Philip the Apostle came from the Galilee.  Originally a disciple of St. John the Baptist, he began to follow Jesus on the same day as Sts. Peter and Andrew.  The scant information about St. Philip in the Gospels depicts him as a paragon of reason.  When asked if anything good could come from Nazareth, St. Philip said, “Come and see.”  This apostle also noted that a few fish and loaves of bread were insufficient to feed thousands of people and asked Jesus to show him the Father.  St. Philip found the Father, whom he followed until the end, which circa 80 C.E. at Hierapolis, in modern-day Turkey, via crucifixion upside-down.

St. James the Lesser, a.k.a. James the Less or James, Son of Alpheus, was one of two Jameses among the Twelve.  (The other was St. James the Greater, a.k.a. James, son of Zebedee, and a cousin of Jesus.)  The designation “Lesser” or “Less” indicates that he was younger than the other James among the Twelve.  Beyond this point the details become confusing, with some sources identifying him with St. James of Jerusalem, son of Joseph and Mary, or as a possible brother of St. Matthew the Evangelist.  What matters most is that St. James, son of Alpheus, devoted his life to following Jesus, which he did until beaten to death with a club in Lower Egypt.

Let us honor these great men, on whose shoulders we modern Christians stand.


JUNE 12, 2010


Posted June 12, 2010 by neatnik2009 in May 1, Saints of the Bible

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