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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 July 25, 2021

When you can do nothing at prayer, make acts of humility, co...

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July 25

 

When you can do nothing at prayer,
make acts of humility, comparing
your nothingness with God’s greatness,
your ingratitude with His benefits,
your lack of virtue with the purity and perfection of the saints.

St. Claude de la Colombière


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. James the Greater

The Virgin Mother, then still living, appeared to him on the...

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St. James the Greater

James the Greater was the son of Zebedee and Salome, one of the women at the tomb on Easter morning, (Matt.27:56, Mark 15:40, 16:1) and the brother of John – probably the elder of the two. He is called “the greater” to distinguish him from James the Lesser, who was probably shorter in stature.

There is evidence in Scriptures that these two brothers were cousins of the Lord, which may explain Our Lord entrusting His mother to John as He was dying. Both James and John were probably of a fiery temperament for which they were called “sons of thunder.”  They once wished to call fire upon a city, for which Our Lord rebuked them. (Luke 9:51-6)

James was one of the first apostles called by Jesus, and was one of the three selected to witness His transfiguration.

James was apostle in Iberia, in the region of present-day Spain. Ancient tradition ascertains that when praying one night in the year 40, the Virgin Mother, then still living, appeared to him on the banks of the River Ebro to encourage him in his difficult mission. She was accompanied by a multitude of angels who bore with them a marble pillar on top of which was a small statue of her holding the Child Jesus. She bid James build a shrine where the pillar was to be placed, which he did, the first shrine dedicated to the Mother of God on earth. Today, the sacred pillar, still in the same spot, is enshrined in the great Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar in Zaragoza.

James returned to Judea after this apparition, and was the first apostle to suffer martyrdom. He died by the sword in Jerusalem at the command of Herod Agrippa in the year 44. His relics rest in the city of Compostela in northern Spain, the final destination of the famous pilgrims of the “Camino de Compostela.”

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

In the Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis de Montfort relates t...

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The Rosary and the Possessed Girl

In his book, The Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis de Montfort relates that a Dominican, Father Jean Amat, was once giving a Lenten Mission in the Kingdom of Aragon, Spain, when a young girl, possessed by the devil was brought to him.

Father Amat began the exorcism. After several unsuccessful attempts, the priest had an idea; taking his Rosary, he looped it around the girl’s neck. 

No sooner had he done this, the girl began to squirm and scream and the devil, shouting through her mouth shrieked, “Take if off, take off; these beads are tormenting me!”

At last, moved to pity for the girl, the priest lifted the Rosary beads off her neck.

The next night, while the good Dominican lay in bed, the same devils who possessed the young girl entered his room. Foaming with rage, they tried to seize him, but he had his Rosary clasped in his hand and no efforts from the infernal spirits could wrench the blessed beads from him.

Then, going on the offensive and using the Rosary as a physical weapon, Fr. Amat scourged the demons crying out, “Holy Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary, help me, come to my aid!” at which the demons took flight.

The next day on his way to church, the priest met the poor girl, still possessed. One of the devils within her taunted him, “Well, brother, if you had been without your Rosary, we should have made short work of you…”

With renewed trust and vigor, the priest unlaced his Rosary from his belt, and flinging it around the girl’s neck commanded, “By the sacred names of Jesus and Mary His Holy Mother, and by the power of the holy Rosary, I command you, evil spirits, leave the body of this girl at once.”

The demons were immediately forced to obey him, and the young girl was freed.

“These stories,” concludes St. Louis de Montfort, “show the power of the holy Rosary in overcoming all sorts of temptations from the evil spirits and all sorts of sins because these blessed beads of the Rosary put devils to rout.”

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In the Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis de Montfort relates that a Dominican, Father Jean Amat, was once giving a Lenten Mission in the Kingdom of Aragon, Spain, when a young girl, possessed by the devil was brought to him.

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