Sts. Philip and James were two of the twelve Apostles called by Christ. Jesus called Philip in Bethsaida, where Sts Peter and Andrew hailed from, and St James the Less was a relative of Jesus through his mother’s kinship with the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Who Were Saints Philip and James?
St. James the Less was the author of the first Catholic Epistle and was the son of Alphaeus of Cleophas.
His mother Mary was a close relative of the Blessed Virgin Mary, so St James was called the brother of the Lord, even though they were some type of cousin to each other.
After the Resurrection and Ascension, St James became the first Bishop of Jerusalem and played a key role in the Council of Jerusalem recorded in Acts 15.
St James was martyred by the Jews in 62 AD.
Jesus called Saint Phillip, which we read in John 1:43, in Galilee, telling him to Follow Me.
St Philip is listed as fifth in the descriptions of the twelve Apostles, indicating his early place in their number.
Jesus involved Philip in the feeding of the 5,000, and in St. John’s gospel we see St Philip mentioned the most.
Sts. Philip and James the Lesser were not blood relations, but they have the same feastday because their relics were translated to the Church of the Holy Apostles in Rome at the same time.