The Twelve Apostles
Simon, son of Jona, born in Bethsaida, brother of Andrew, a fisherman; called Cephas or Peter by Christ who made him the chief of the Apostles and head of the Church as his vicar.
“As one leaves behind the great city of Rome, the statue of Peter, and the great basilica, and turns his attention to the Gospels, he finds that the simplicity of this man, the lightning of God flashing around him, leaves him speechless. So expressive, in this fisherman that He should make him, and only him, the pastor of His flock and the father of His kingdom, the foundation of His Church and the ruler of all Christianity.”
Born in Bethsaida, brother of Peter, disciple of John the Baptist, a fisherman, the first Apostle called; according to legend, preached the Gospel in northern Greece, Epirus and Scythia, and was martyred at Patras about 70; in art, is represented with an x-shaped cross, called St. Andrew's Cross; is honored as the patron of Russia and Scotland; Nov.30.
“Andrew was not small, but big, a little stooped, with a large nose and high eyebrows-so a ninth-century biography described him. These characteristics were gathered from earlier sources. "Not small, but big"-how well these words describe his character also.”
A Galilean, called Levi by Luke and John and the son of Alphaeus by Mark, a tax collector, one of the Evangelists; according to various accounts, preached the Gospel in Judea, Ethiopia, Persia and Parthia, and was martyred; in art, is depicted with a spear, the instrument of his death, and as a winged man in his role as Evangelist; Sept. 21 (Roman Rite), Nov 16 (Byzantine Rite).
“Jesus saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office, and he said to him: Follow me." Jesus saw Matthew, not merely in the usual sense, but more significantly with his merciful understanding of men.”
Thomas (Didymus): Notable for his initial incredulity regarding the Resurrection...
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