Friday, May 2, 2008

The Proper of the Day: SS Phillip and James

SS Philip and James, from the Breviary of Martin of Aragon

Today we remember the ministry of the apostles Philip and James, two of the Twelve. Their feast day is normally May 1, but got bumped by yesterday's Feast of the Ascension. I've always considered Phillip quite the Anglican evangelist because he keeps bringing people to Jesus, but always in a "come and see" way, rather than a push-Jesus-in-your-face way. His way is to invite people and let them make up their own minds and hearts. He did that with Nathaniel in John's Gospel, and also brought the Greek speakers to Jesus when they wanted to see him.

It turns out there a lot of people named James in the New Testament. The one we commemorate today is one of the Twelve (James the Less, son of Alpheus) but not the same as James of Jerusalem, the brother of Jesus. We know nothing about him. There's also a James the Greater who is the other James listed among the Twelve who is a member of the "inner three" of Peter, James, and John. Today's James is not him, either.

Phillip is patron of hatters and pastry chefs, among others, while James is patron of fullers and pharmacists.

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.


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