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Phillip, seemingly a disciple of John the Baptist, was the third apostle, after Andrew and Peter, whom Christ Our Lord called to follow Him. A family man, St. Chrysostom says of him that he still found time to meditate on the law and the prophets, which study prepared him to recognize the expected Messiah. Mentioned several times in the Gospel of John, we get a glimpse of the Apostle Phillip as a man of an amiable, earnest and circumspect disposition.

Immediately after being chosen, he seeks out Nathaniel to tell him of his great discovery. On meeting with disdainful doubt on Nathaniel’s part, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” (John 1:46) Phillip is neither frustrated nor irritated but says simply, “Come and see.”

At the multiplication of the loaves and the fish, Our Lord singles him out, “Whence shall we buy bread that they may eat?” to which Phillip replied soberly, “Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one may take a little” (John 6:5-7).

In his ardent love and desire to see the Father, he asks Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father…” to which Our Lord replies calling him by name, “…Philip, he that sees me sees the Father also…” (John 14:8-9)

Phillip must have lived to an advanced age as St. Polycarp, who was only converted in the year 80, held conversations with him. He seems to have preached in Greece, Phrygia, and Syria, and suffered martyrdom in Hierapolis.

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James called “the lesser” because he seems to have been younger than James the Greater, was a brother of John and was also known as “James the Just”.

He was son of Alpheus of Cleophas and Mary, a relative of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which seems to make him a cousin of Jesus. In Scriptures he is called a “brother” of the Lord, a title the Jews often used for close relatives.

James the Lesser held a prominent position in the early church, a man whom the Apostle Paul consulted. According to tradition, he was Bishop of Jerusalem and was present at the Council of Jerusalem in the year 50, where at the instance of Peter, he officially pronounced that gentiles accepting baptism need not be circumcised.

Tradition has also always recognized James the Lesser as the author of the epistle that bears his name.

The historian Josephus, records that James earned his crown of martyrdom in the year 62, when he was stoned to death in Jerusalem.

 


 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for September 22, 2019

Dismiss all anger and look into yourself a little. Remember...

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September 22

 

Dismiss all anger and look into yourself a little.
Remember that he of whom you are speaking
is your brother, and as he is in the way of salvation,
God can make him a saint,
in spite of his present weakness.

St. Thomas of Villanova


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Thomas of Villanova

When the emperor discovered his secretary had written the na...

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St. Thomas of Villanova

Thomas was born in Castile, Spain in 1488. His family was not wealthy, but his father’s work as a miller allowed the family to be charitable and generous towards the poor. He was sent to school at the University of Alcala at the age of sixteen, where he threw himself enthusiastically into his studies and, ten years later, became professor of philosophy.

In 1516 he joined the Augustinian Friars at Salamanca and was ordained a priest two years later. He eventually became prior in several houses of the Augustinian Order, notably Salamanca, Burgos, and Valladolid. When Don Jorge, the Archbishop of Valencia, resigned, the emperor did not offer Thomas the see because he knew the high position would be a grievous trial for the humble friar-priest. Instead, the emperor nominated a religious of the Order of St. Jerome. However, when the emperor discovered his secretary had written the name of Brother Thomas of Villanova on the letter of nomination, he took it as a sign from God and appointed Thomas bishop. The year was 1545.

Thomas immediately began to restore the spiritual and material life of the archdiocese. He was deeply committed to the poor, established care for orphans and convinced the emperor to provide funds to organize priests for service among the converted Moors who had lapsed back into their old religion for lack of a shepherd.

Renowned for his personal charity, sanctity and austerities, Thomas was eventually consecrated archbishop. While he did not attend the sessions of the Council of Trent, he was an ardent supporter of the Reformation against the Lutheran heresy.

Thomas of Villanova died in 1555 of angina at the age of sixty-seven. He was canonized by Pope Alexander VII on November 1, 1658.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

“What is that?” Asked a curious voice as America Needs F...

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The Power of a Picture

“What is that?” Asked a curious voice as America Needs Fatima custodian Jose Ferraz stepped into the hotel elevator in Altamonte Springs, Florida. “This is the Pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima,” replied Mr. Ferraz, “I take Her to visit people in their homes to spread the Fatima message.” He then handed the woman, who was a maid at the hotel, America Needs Fatima’s most popular picture. “This is a picture of Her.” The woman gasped. “I know that picture! It inspired a conversion.” She then asked excitedly, “Do you have a minute to hear the story?” 

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As Mr. Ferraz listened, he learned that the woman, Maria Vegra, had a 22-year old son who had recently passed away after three weeks in the hospital due to a fatal injury received in a car accident. While in the hospital, a priest would visit him every day to administer Holy Communion. The priest consistently offered the sacrament to the neighboring patient of Maria’s son, another young man who was also in critical condition. The young man would say, “No. I don’t believe in God.” But the priest continued to offer salvation. “Let me hear your confession and give you Holy Communion and Last Rights,” the priest said, “it will save your soul and get you to heaven.” Time after time, the young man stubbornly refused.

During the weeks of hospitalization and fruitless medical treatments, Maria had taken her son a picture of Our Lady of Fatima a friend had given her from an America Needs Fatima mailing.

She knew Our Lady’s watchful gaze would give her son peace in his last days. The day after she placed Our Lady’s picture at the foot of her son’s bed, she heard the voice of his stubborn neighbor: “please,” he said, “bring the picture closer to me. I want to look at the Lady.” 

Surprised but willing, Maria placed the picture in the middle of the two suffering men. 

After three days of letting the nearby picture of Our Lady touch his heart as he gazed into Her eyes, the suffering patient relented. “Please,” he called out, “bring me the priest. I want to receive the sacraments.”

A few days later, the young man died a Catholic. With a simple picture of Our Lady of Fatima, God touched a heart and saved a soul. 

 By Catherine Ferdinand

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“What is that?” Asked a curious voice as America Needs Fatima custodian Jose Ferraz stepped into the hotel elevator in Altamonte Springs, Florida. “This is the Pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima,” replied Mr. Ferraz, “I take Her to visit people in their homes to spread the Fatima message.” He then handed the woman, who was a maid at the hotel, America Needs Fatima’s most popular picture. 

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