Friday, May 3, 2013

Sts Philip and James Show Us How to Behold the Face of the Father

Church of the Twelve Holy Apostles, Rome

Listen to my homily for the Feast of Sts Philip and James:

If you have trouble listening, click here.

Readings for the Day

Reliquary of Sts Philip and James
James, son of Alphaeus (Ἰάκωβος, Iakōbos in Greek) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, appearing under this name in all three of the Synoptic Gospels' lists of the apostles. He is often identified with James the Less (Greek Iacobos ho mikros, Ἰακώβος ο μικρος Mark 15:40) and commonly known by that name in church tradition. He is also labelled "the minor", "the little", "the lesser", or "the younger", according to translation.  
James, the son of Alphaeus, is rarely mentioned in the New Testament. He is distinguished[citation needed]from James the Lord's brother (Gal.1:19), an important leader in the New Testament church, and James, son of Zebedee, another one of the Twelve Apostles.

Philip the Apostle (Greek: Φίλιππος, Philippos) was one of theTwelve Apostles of Jesus. Later Christian traditions describe Philip as the apostle who preached in Greece, Syria, and Phrygia.
In the Roman Catholic Church, the feast day of Philip, along with that of James the Just, was traditionally observed on 1 May, the anniversary of the dedication of the church dedicated to them in Rome (now called the Church of the Twelve Apostles). TheEastern Orthodox Church celebrates Philip's feast day on 14 November. One of the Gnostic texts found in the Nag Hammadi library in 1945 has been given the modern title "Gospel of Philip", though this text makes no claim to have been written by Philip. It gets the name simply because Philip is the only apostle ever 

Built by Pope Pelagius I to celebrate a Narses victory over the Ostrogoths, and dedicated byPope John III to Saint John the Apostle and Saint Philip the Apostle, the basilica is listed as 'Titulus SS Apostolorum' in the acts of the synod of 499. Santi Apostoli was ruined by theearthquake of 1348, and left abandoned.
In 1417, Pope Martin V, whose Colonna family owned the adjacent Palazzo Colonna, restored the church, while the facade was built at the end of the same century by Baccio Pontelli. It was frescoed by Melozzo da Forlì whose wall-paintings at Santi Apostoli were renowned for their innovative techniques of foreshortening and came to be regarded as Melozzo's masterpiece.
Pope Clement XI instigated dramatic renovations of the church. Melozzo's frescoes were either destroyed or moved partly to the Quirinal and partly to the Vatican Museums. A new Baroque interior was designed by Carlo Fontana and Francesco Fontana, and was completed in 1714. The church was later restored again, with the facade completed by Giuseppe Valadier in 1827.

St Athansius, Champion of Orthodoxy, Help Us Know Jesus Christ the Eternal God Made Man

Listen to my homily on the feast of St Athanasius, champion of Orthodoxy:

If you have trouble listening, click here.