V. Dóminus vobíscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
Deus, qui nos ánnua Apostolórum tuórum Philíppi et Iacóbi sollemnitáte lætíficas: præsta, quaesumus: ut, quorum gaudémus méritis, instruámur exémplis.
Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, Filium tuum: qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
Let us pray.
O God, Who gladden us each year by the feast of Your holy Apostles Philip and James, graciously grant that, as we rejoice in their merits, we may be inspired by their example.
Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
Thanks to arsorandi:
The Liturgical Year
by Dom Guéranger, O.S.B.
by Dom Guéranger, O.S.B.
Two of the favoured witnesses of our beloved Jesus’ Resurrection come before us on this day. Philip and James are here, bearing testimony to us that their Master is truly risen from the dead, that they have seen him, that they have touched him, that they have conversed with him, during these forty days. And, that we may have no doubt as to the truth of their testimony, they hold in their hands the instruments of the martyrdom they underwent for asserting that Jesus, after having suffered death, came to life again and rose from the grave. Philip is leaning upon the cross to which he was fastened, as Jesus had been; James is holding the club wherewith he was struck dead.
Philip preached the Gospel in the two Phrygias, and his martyrdom took place at Hierapolis. He was married when he was called by our Saviour; and we learn from writers of the second century that he had three daughters, remarkable for their great piety, one of whom lived at Ephesus, where she was justly revered as one of the glories of that early Church.
James is better known than Philip. He is called, in the sacred Scripture, Brother of the Lord, on account of the close relationship that existed between his own mother and the blessed Mother of Jesus. He claims our veneration during Paschal Time, inasmuch as he was favoured with a special visit from our Risen Lord, as we learn from St. Paul. There can be no doubt but that he had done something to deserve this mark of Jesus’ predilection. St. Jerome and St. Epiphanius tell us that our Saviour, when ascending into heaven, recommended to St. James’s care the Church of Jerusalem, and that he was accordingly appointed the first bishop of that city. The Christians of Jerusalem, in the fourth century, had possession of the chair on which St. James used to sit when he assisted at the assemblies of the faithful. St. Epiphanius also tells us that the holy Apostle used to wear a lamina of gold upon his forehead as the badge of his dignity. His garment was a tunic made of linen.
He was held in such high repute for virtue that the people of Jerusalem called him “The Just”; and when the time of the siege came, instead of attributing the frightful punishment they then endured to the deicide they or their fathers had committed, they would have it be a consequence of the murder of James, who, when dying, prayed for his people. The admirable epistle he has left us bears testimony to the gentleness and uprightness of his character. He there teaches us, with the eloquence of an inspired writer, that works must accompany our faith if we would be just with that justice which makes us like our Risen Lord.
Let us now read the brief account given of St. Philip in the Liturgy.
Philip was born in the town of Bethsaida, and was one of the first of the twelve Apostles who were called by the Lord Christ. Then Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him We have found Him of Whom Moses in the Law, and the Prophets, did write." And so he brought him to the Lord. How familiarly he was in the company of Christ, is manifest from that which is written " There were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the Feast the same came therefore to Philip, and desired him, saying: Sir, we would see Jesus." When the Lord was in the wilderness, and was about to feed a great multitude, "He said unto Philip Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat" Philip, after that he had received the Holy Ghost, took Scythia, by lot, as the land wherein he was to preach the Gospel, and brought nearly all that people to believe in Christ. At the last he came to Hierapolis in Phrygia, and there, for Christ's Name's sake, he was fastened to a cross and stoned to death. The day was the first of May. The Christians of Hierapolis buried his body at that place, but it was afterwards brought to Rome and laid in the Basilica of the Twelve Apostles, beside that of the blessed Apostle James.
JAMES, surnamed the Just, the brother of our Lord Jesus Christ, was a Nazarite from the womb. During his whole life he never drank wine or strong drink, never ate meat, never shaved, and never took a bath. He was the only man who was allowed to go into the Holy of Holies. His raiment was always linen. So continually did he kneel in prayer, that the skin of his knees became horny, like a camel's knees. After Christ was ascended, the Apostles made James Bishop of Jerusalem and even the Prince of the Apostles gave special intelligence to him after that he was delivered from prison by an angel. When in the Council of Jerusalem certain questions were mooted touching the law and circumcision, James, following the opinion of Peter, addressed a discourse to the brethren, wherein he proved the call of the Gentiles, and commanded letters to be sent to such brethren as were absent, that they might take heed not to lay upon the Gentiles the yoke of the Law of Moses. It is of him that the Apostle Paul saith, writing to the Galatians " Other of the Apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother."
So great was James' holiness of life that men strove one with another to touch the hem of his garment. When he was ninety-six years old, and had most holily governed the Church of Jerusalem for thirty years, ever most constantly preaching Christ the Son of God, he laid down his life for the faith. He was first stoned, and afterward taken up on to a pinnacle of the Temple and cast down from thence. His legs were broken by the fall, and he was well nigh dead, but he lifted up his hands towards heaven, and prayed to God for the salvation of his murderers, saying " Lord, forgive them, for they know not what they do " As he said this, one that stood by smote him grievously upon the head with a fuller's club, and he resigned his spirit to God. He testified in the seventh year of Nero, and was buried hard by the Temple, in the place where he had fallen. He wrote one of the Seven Epistles which are called Catholic.
Holy Apostles, you saw our Risen Jesus in all his glory. He said to you on the evening of that great Sunday: Peace be to you! He appeared to you during the forty days following, that he might make you certain of his Resurrection. Great indeed must have been your joy at seeing once more that dear Master, who had admitted you into the number of his chose Twelve; and his return made your love of him more than ever fervent. We address ourselves to you as our special patrons during this holy season, and most earnestly do we beseech you to teach us how to know and love the great mystery of our Lord’s Resurrection. May our hearts glow with Paschal joy, and may we never lose the new life that our Jesus has now given unto us.
Thou, O Philip, wast devoted to him, even from the first day of his calling thee. Scarcely hadst thou come to know him as the Messias, than thou didst announce the great tidings to thy friend Nathanael. Jesus treated thee with affectionate familiarity. When about to work the great miracle of the multiplication of the loaves, it was to thee that he addressed himself, and said to thee: Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? A few days before the Passion of thy divine Master, some of the Gentiles wished to see this great Prophet, of whom they had heard such wonderful things, and it was to thee that they applied. Howe fervently didst thou not ask him, at the Last Supper, to show thee the Father! Thy soul longed for the divine light; and when the rays of the Holy Ghost had inflamed thy spirit, nothing could daunt thy courage. As a reward of thy labours, Jesus gave thee to share with him the honours of the Cross. O holy Apostle, interceded for us, that we may imitate thy devotedness to Jesus; and that, when he deigns to send us the Cross, we may reverence and love it.
We also honour thy love of Jesus, O thou that art called the brother of the Lord, on whose venerable features was stamped the likeness of our Redeemer. If, like the rest of the Apostles, thou didst abandon him in his Passion, thy repentance was speedy and earnest, for thou wast the first, after Peter, to whom he appeared after his Resurrection. We affectionately congratulate thee, O James, for the honour thus conferred upon thee; do thou, in return, obtain for us that we may taste and see how sweet is our Risen Lord. Thy ambition was to give him every possible proof of thy gratitude; and the last testimony thou didst bear, in the faithless city, to the divinity of thy dear Master (when the Jews took thee to the top of the Temple) opened to thee, by martyrdom, the way that was to unite thee to him for eternity. Pray for us, O thou generous Apostle, that we also may confess his holy Name with the firmness which befits his disciples; and that we may ever be brave and loyal in proclaiming his rights as King over all creatures.
O holy Apostles, we beseech you to unite your prayers, and intercede for the Churches of the East, to which you preached the Gospel. Have compassion on Jerusalem, the dupe of schism and heresy; obtain her purification and her liberty; and rid her Holy Places of the sacrileges that have so long polluted them. Lead back the Christians of Asia Minor to union with the fold governed by the one supreme pastor. And lastly, pray for Rome, the city where your bodies repose, awaiting their glorious Resurrection. In return for the long hospitality she has given you, shield her with your protection; and permit not that the city of Peter, your venerable Head, should be deprived of its grandest glory—the presence of the Vicar of Christ.