The Apostle Philip was one of Christ’s first disciples, called soon after his Master’s baptism in the Jordan. The fourth Gospel gives the following detail: “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 1:43ff).
Patron: Hatters; Luxembourg; pastry chefs; Uruguay.
Symbols: basket; basket and Tau cross or letter Tau; two or three loaves and a cross; patriarchal cross and spear; knotted cross; broken idols; inverted cross; tall column; dragon; carpenter’s square and cross; long staff and spear; tall cross and book.
Often Portrayed As: Elderly bearded man holding a basket of loaves and a cross which is often t-shaped; elderly man casting a devil from the idol of Mars; elderly man crucified on a tall cross; elderly man holding loaves and fishes; elderly man with a dragon nearby; elderly man with a loaf and book; elderly man with a snake nearby; loaves of bread; man baptizing the Ethiopian eunuch; man holding a book or scroll reading descendit ad inferna; with Saint Andrew.
Saint James the Great
St. James the Less, a brother of the Apostle Jude, was of Cana of Galilee. He is the author of one of the Catholic Epistles in the New Testament. He was favoured by an appearance of the Risen Christ (I Cor. 15:7). After the dispersion of the Apostles he was made Bishop of Jerusalem. He was visited by St. Paul (Gal. 1:19). He spoke after Peter at the meeting of the Apostles (Acts 15:13). When he refused to deny the Divinity of Christ, the Jews cast him down from the terrace of the temple and clubbed him to death. The Breviary contains a very moving description of his death. “When he was ninety-six years old and had governed the Church for thirty years in a most holy manner, the Jews sought to stone him, then took him to the pinnacle of the temple and cast him off headlong.
As he lay there half dead, with legs broken by the fall, he lifted his hands toward heaven and prayed to God for the salvation of his enemies, saying: Lord, forgive them for they know not what they do! While the apostle was still praying, a fuller struck his head a mortal blow.” His relics now rest next to those of St. Philip in the church of the Holy Apostles in Rome, and their names are mentioned in the first list in the Canon of the Mass.
Patron: Apothecaries, druggists, dying people, fullers, hatmakers, hatters, milliners, pharmacists, Uruguay.
Symbols: Vertical saw; Fuller’s club; windmill; halbert; three stones; loaf of bread.
Often portrayed as: man holding a book.
As in the case of the other apostles, we see in James and Philip human men who became foundation stones of the Church, and we are reminded again that holiness and its consequent apostolate are entirely the gift of God, not a matter of human achieving. All power is God’s power, even the power of human freedom to accept his gifts. “You will be clothed with power from on high,” Jesus told Philip and the others. Their first commission had been to expel unclean spirits, heal diseases, announce the kingdom. They learned, gradually, that these externals were sacraments of an even greater miracle inside their persons—the divine power to love like God.