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Ss. Philip & James

Saints Philip & James


Philip hailed from Bethsaida, like Ss. Peter and Andrew. He was a husband and father when called by Our Lord, and his daughters lived saintly lives as well. He also brought Nathaniel, usually identified as the Apostle St. Bartholomew, to follow Christ. Philip preached the faith for many years after the Ascension until he was crucified and then stoned to death at Hierapolis around the year of Our Lord 80. James is known as James the Just, or as James the Lesser, to distinguish him from St. James the Greater, brother of St. John the Evangelist. James the Just was first cousin to Our Lord, and became the first Bishop of Jerusalem after the Ascension. During this time he wrote his Epistle. Around the year of Our Lord 62, James was thrown from the roof of the Temple, and clubbed to death as he prayed for his executioners. These two Apostles have been venerated together on May 1st since their relics were brought to Rome in the 6th century and placed in the same church. In 1955 this venerable feast was displaced to May 11th by the modern feast of St. Joseph the Worker, then moved again to May 3rd in 1969.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for May 1st

THE birthday of the blessed apostles Philip and James. Philip, after having converted nearly all Scythia to the faith of Christ, went to Hierapolis, in Asia, where he was fastened to a cross, overwhelmed with stones, and thus terminated his life gloriously. James, who is also called the brother of our Lord, was the first bishop of Jerusalem. Being hurled down from a pinnacle of the temple, he had his legs broken, and being then struck on the head with a dyer’s staff, he expired, and was buried near the temple.

In Egypt, St. Jeremias, prophet, who was stoned to death by the people at Taphnas, where he was interred. St. Epiphanius relates that the faithful were wont to pray at his grave, and to take away from it dust to heal those who were stung by serpents.

In France, in the province of Vivarais, blessed Andeol, subdeacon, who was sent from the East into Gaul with others by St. Polycarp to preach the word of God. Under the emperor Severus he was scourged with thorny sticks, and having his head split with a wooden sword into four parts, in the shape of a cross, terminated his martyrdom.

At Huesca, in Spain, the holy martyrs Orentius and Patience.

At Sion, in Switzerland, St. Sigismund, king of the Burgundians, who was drowned in a well, and afterwards became renowned for miracles.

At Auxerre, St. Amator, bishop and confessor.

At Auch, St. Orientius, bishop.

In England, the Saints Asaph, bishop, and Walburge, virgin.

At Bergamo, St. Grata, widow.

At Forli, St. Peregrinus, of the Order of the Servites of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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