May 2019 Letter

St. Philip & St. James, Apostles


May 1st is the traditional festival day for St. Philip and St. James, two of Jesus’ original 12 apostles. St. Philip is mentioned in the lists of the apostles (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14; Acts 1:13), but only in the Gospel of John is more told about him. Philip was from Bethsaida in Galilee and one of the first disciples called after the brothers Peter and Andrew, who were fishermen. Philip was also instrumental in bringing Nathanael to Jesus (John 1:43-51). It was Philip that Jesus posed the question about where to buy bread to feed the 5,000 (John 6:5). During Holy Week Philip, along with Andrew, brought some inquiring Greeks to Jesus (John 12:20-22). And on Maundy Thursday evening, Philip asked Jesus to show the Father to him and the rest of the disciples (John 14:8). According to tradition, Philip went to labor in Phrygia and was buried there.


St. James was the son of Alphaeus and was also called “the Younger” (to distinguish him from James, the son of Zebedee and John’s brother, “the Elder,” whose festival day is July 25th). His mother, Mary, was one of the faithful women who stood at the cross as Jesus was crucified for our sins (Matthew 27:56; Mark 15:40). James is mentioned in the same apostolic lists as Philip, but there is no other mention of him in the New Testament. There is also no information regarding his field of labor or the circumstances of his death, except that he may have been martyred by being sawed in two.


Almighty God, You chose Your servants Philip and James to be numbered among the Twelve and gave them the knowledge of everlasting life. Grant that Your Church, ever preserved from false teachers, may be taught and guided by faithful and true pastors; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.


May Blessings!


Pastor David A. Feddern