Greetings in Christ, all!
What a beautiful spring we are experiencing, even though it has been a bit late to arrive…
We’ve got a couple big Saint days this week…we’re celebrating St. Joseph the Worker on Tuesday and The Feast of Sts. Phillip and St. James on Thursday.
St. John Paul II had a wonderful quote about St. Joseph:
“Saint Joseph is a man of great spirit. He is great in faith, not because he speaks his own words, but above all because he listens to the words of the Living God. He listens in silence. And his heart ceaselessly perseveres in the readiness to accept the Truth contained in the word of the Living God.”
We don’t know a ton about St. Joseph, he doesn’t appear in any of the stories of Jesus as an adult and most historians believe he died when Jesus was younger. He is the patron of a lot of things, the Universal Church, those who are dying, those who work with their hands and fathers. He’s a great intercessor and I recommend we ask him for his prayers often.
Catholic Culture gives us some good summaries of Sts. Philip and James:
The Apostle Philip was one of Christ’s first disciples, called soon after Jesus baptism in the Jordan. The fourth Gospel gives the following detail: “The next day Jesus was about to leave for Galilee, and He found Philip. And Jesus said to him: Follow Me. Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael, and said to him: We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and the Prophets wrote, Jesus the Son of Joseph of Nazareth. And Nathanael said to him: Can anything good come out of Nazareth? Philip said to him: Come and see” (John 1:43). He is the patron saint of pastry chefs, people who make hats and Uruguay.
St. James the Less
St. James the Less, a brother of the Apostle Jude, was of Cana of Galilee. He is the author of one of the Catholic Epistles in the New Testament (appropriately names The Letter of James). The New Testament tells us that the risen Jesus visited him (I Cor. 15:7) and that after the dispersion of the Apostles he was made Bishop of Jerusalem. He was visited by St. Paul (Gal. 1:19). He spoke after Peter at the meeting of the Apostles (Acts 15:13). When he refused to deny the Divinity of Christ, the Jews cast him down from the terrace of the temple and clubbed him to death.
The Breviary contains a very moving description of his death. “When he was ninety-six years old and had governed the Church for thirty years in a most holy manner, the Jews sought to stone him, then took him to the pinnacle of the temple and cast him off headlong. As he lay there half dead, with legs broken by the fall, he lifted his hands toward heaven and prayed to God for the salvation of his enemies, saying: Lord, forgive them for they know not what they do! While the apostle was still praying, a fuller struck his head a mortal blow.”
His relics now rest next to those of St. Philip in the church of the Holy Apostles in Rome, and their names are mentioned in the first list in the Canon of the Mass.
He is the Patron of a lot of things: Apothecaries, druggists, dying people, fullers, hatmakers, hatters, milliners, pharmacists, Uruguay.
So…we’ve got some Saints to ask for prayers this week! Praise God for their wonderful example and mighty prayers. As I like to remind people, there are days open in the Church calendar for us to be Saints.
I’m about to head off with my Dad to the wedding and I ask for you to pray for his health and our travels. We are expecting to have a wonderful time and I could use some rest and some time with him. For those who didn’t notice, I didn’t end up being able to take that week after Easter off as so much had happened here so this really is timely for me.
I pray for you and thank God for you.