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  • Writer's pictureFr. Scott Haynes

Sts. Philip and James

Fr. Scott A. Haynes


The Apostle Philip was born in the town of Bethsaida and was among the first of the twelve Apostles called by the Lord. Everyone knew that St. Philip was in close fellowship with Christ. And so, when certain Greeks came up to Jerusalem to worship at the temple, they would come to Philip and say:

“Sir, we would see Jesus.”


Like St. Philip, who had a deep relationship with Christ, we need each day to draw nearer to our Merciful Savior, so that the joy of the Risen Lord will radiate in us. When strangers saw Phillip, they knew that he was a man of Christ. What about us? When strangers see us, it is a compliment if they say:

“That is a man of Christ.”


The religious garb of Priests marks them as men dedicated to Christ—as men who see their very lives bound up in the love of Jesus Christ. Priests, therefore, must daily die to the ways of the world and strive after heavenly joys. When people come to Priests and say: “We would see Jesus,” they know exactly where to bring them. The Priests bring them to the Temple of the Lord, just like St. Philip did. They bring them to the Altar of God, for it is there that Christ Jesus resides in His Holy Tabernacle.


Besides celebrating the Apostle Phillip, Holy Mother Church also honors in the same Feast the Apostle St. James, surnamed the Just, who was a cousin of our Lord Jesus Christ. So continually did St. James kneel in prayer in the Jerusalem Temple, that the callused skin of his knees became like a camel's knees. And so, we are reminded of the importance of fidelity to the sacred liturgical prayer of the Church. When we are faithful to deepening our conversation with our Heavenly Father we will be pre-eminently dedicated to the supreme prayer of Christ and his Church, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and to the hours of the Divine Office.


When we join St. Phillip and James today in this Holy Temple, when we come to the Altar with all the saints and angels, we fall on our knees like St. James, and we pray that we will be transformed by Christ’s love – we pray that the Lord will take away the calluses that sometimes are on our hearts.


Holy Mother Church puts before us St. Philip and St. James to teach us that, as men of Christ, we must lead everyone to seek Jesus at the Altar of God; we must be faithful to the prayer of the Temple, the liturgical prayer of the Church, and we must seek in our heavenly conversation to be transformed in divine love.


St. Philip and St. James, pray for us.


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