Saint Brigid Religious Education
100 Mayflower Street
West Hartford, CT 06110
~ James the Greater
~ John ~ Philip ~
James the Less ~
~ Simon "Simon the Zealot"
Iscariot ~ Matthias (replaced Judas) ~
The original twelve apostles may be considered, with one exception
(Judas), to be some of the
most fortunate people that ever lived. Often
referred to simply as "The Twelve," they were chosen by Jesus Christ
Himself, and actually lived and worked with Him during His Ministry.
They followed Jesus Christ, learned from
Him, and were trained by Him. They were ordinary men whom God used in an
Added to the list of 12 are Matthias, who replaced Judas Iscariot, and
Paul, Luke and Mark, writers of the Gospel.
We know personal and
occupational information about them as well. There may have been three
sets of brothers among them, Peter and Andrew, James and John, Matthew
and James the less (both referred to as sons of Alphaeus). Some have
surmised that Jude and Simon were brothers also.
We know from John’s
Gospel (21:1-3) that at least six of them were fishermen and fishing was a thriving and lucrative
industry in Galilee.
on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, may have been the hometown of five
of the apostles.
We know that Matthew was
a tax collector (also a profitable business) with an office at
Capernaum, right on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus spent a great deal of time
during his public ministry in Capernaum. We do not know the occupations
of the other three, but we do know that they are referred to as Zealots,
a political group determined to get rid of the Romans.
These men were especially
chosen by Jesus to take his message to the whole world. They were with
him from the beginning of his public ministry, he sent them out
two-by-two to preach the need for repentance and to cure the sick, he
made little retreats with them to give them special instruction, he
celebrated the Last Supper and the institution of the Eucharist with
them the night before he died, they were with him in the garden of
Gethsemane at the time of his arrest, they were among the first
witnesses of the resurrection and received his gift of the Holy Spirit
Catholic Church still base their authority on the premise of Apostolic
Succession (ecclesiastical authority derived from being founded by an
apostle). The Apostles were also attributed with writing The Gospels.
From these 12 apostles, the first
communities of the Church began to gather and to grow and then to change
the world. After witnessing
Jesus' resurrection and ascension into heaven, the Holy Spirit
transformed the apostles into powerful men of God who turned the world
upside down. What was the change? The twelve apostles had “been with