The Holy Apostles

Dai 12 Discepoli ai Santi Apostoli

Sainte Thérèse
François Pascal Simon Gérard French painter, aquarellist and illustrator Sainte Thérèse

Christ has no Body
I Santi Apostoli devono diventare il suo corpo
Cristo non ha altro corpo che il tuo,
Niente mani, niente piedi sulla terra tranne i tuoi,
tuoi sono gli occhi con cui Egli guarda
Compassione su questo mondo,
tuoi sono i piedi con cui cammina per fare il bene,
Tue sono le mani, con le quali benedice tutto il mondo.
tue sono le mani, tuoi sono i piedi,
I tuoi sono gli occhi, tu sei il suo corpo.
Cristo ora non ha altro corpo che il tuo,
Niente mani, niente piedi sulla terra tranne i tuoi,
I tuoi sono gli occhi con cui guarda
compassione per questo mondo.
Cristo ora non ha un corpo sulla terra se non il tuo.

~Santa Teresa di Ávila~

In questa bellissima poesia, Santa Teresa d'Avila ci dice che Cristo non ha più un corpo fisico qui, sulla terra e dobbiamo agire come Lui ha insegnato e vissuto. In un certo senso, ci sta dicendo che siamo suoi discepoli.

Nel Vangelo di Marco, versetto 15, Gesù disse ai suoi apostoli:

“Andate in tutto il mondo e predicate il vangelo a tutta la creazione”. 

After betraying Jesus, Judas was so overcome with remorse that he hung himself, so at this moment,  there were eleven apostles. These eleven men were asked to perform a difficult mission. They would separate and go to different parts of the world preaching what we now know as Christianity.

Degli undici, tutti tranneSan Giovanni sarebbero stati martirizzati per la loro devozione e obbedienza a Gesù. Non fosse per i santi apostoli, non avremmo la Scrittura. Non conosceremmo Nostro Signore.

Non fosse per questi Santi Apostoli, non capiremmo né accetteremmo la nostra salvezza. Gesù ha scelto ciascuno di questi uomini per seguirlo.

They were from different backgrounds and had different personalities and occupations. Jesus knew each man before He chose him and chose each man for a reason. 

the Holy Apostles
i Santi Apostoli

The 12 disciples started as average, unexceptional men of their time: fishermen, farmers, and local magistrates. But their dedication to a prophetic Jewish preacher in the backwaters of the Roman Empire transformed them into revolutionaries and, in the process, changed the world in ways that would reverberate across time for two thousand years. Now, discover the extraordinary, untold stories of the men Jesus chose to bring God’s plan to the world.

Among them was Peter, who denied Christ three times but later became a “Rock,” James and John, the fiery-tempered “sons of thunder,” Matthew, the tax collector murdered by cannibals, Simon the Zealot, the anti-Roman fanatic eventually “cut to pieces” preaching in Spain, and Judas Iscariot, whose betrayal would be paid for with silver and suicide.

From their early fear and discouragement at the shock of the Crucifixion to the final acceptance of the resurrection and their epic mission to spread the Gospel through the known world, it’s an inspiring, astonishing story of the little-known men who became the Twelve Apostles.

The Names of the 12 Disciples

The 12 disciples of Jesus Christ were some of his closest followers and confidants. They actively spread his gospel and bore witness to his miracles. The names of the twelve disciples are

They were present at many important events in Jesus’ life such as the Last Supper and the Crucifixion. They also witnessed many miracles performed by Jesus including healing the sick and raising the dead.

The 12 disciples played an important role in spreading Christianity throughout the world after Jesus’ death. They traveled far and wide to preach about Jesus’ teachings and helped establish churches in many different countries. Their legacy lives on today through their writings which are still studied by Christians all over the world.

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Challenges of the 12 Disciples

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A portrait of St. Philip from around 1611, by the Italian painter Peter Paul Rubens, at the Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

La storia di San Filippo

The story of Philip the Apostle proves he was one of the 12 main disciples of Jesus Christ. Philip is described as a disciple from the city of Bethsaida, and the evangelist connects him with Andrew and Peter, who were from the same town.
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Storie dei 12 Discepoli

The twelve were not Jesus’s only disciples. In ancient Israel, a disciple chose to follow a teacher and emulate both his lifestyle and teachings. Any good rabbi in Jesus’s world had disciples, and Jesus had quite a few.

Some were more devoted than others, of course. At times, he was followed by hundreds and even thousands of people, but only a few really walked closely with him, and only a few consistently emerged in the gospel story as faithful and committed to him.

Questi pochi includono dodici uomini e una manciata di donne, quest'ultima delle quali, contro ogni convenzione del giorno, viaggiò con Gesù e gli altri discepoli e si sedette ai suoi piedi per imparare da lui.

So Jesus had many disciples, many followers, many who believed in him — or at least were exploring the belief in him. But out of the many, he called twelve to serve as a special extension of his ministry.

He called twelve to be apostles. Gesù chiamò i Dodici suoi amici e si fidò di loro. I farisei pensavano che gli apostoli fossero ignoranti e ordinari. Ma Gesù diede loro una formazione per il loro lavoro. Sarebbero stati con Gesù nei momenti più importanti della sua vita, come prima della sua morte e dopo la sua risurrezione.

Like Jesus, most of the Twelve were from Galilee. Some of the apostles were married. The apostles were imperfect men who made mistakes. Sometimes they spoke before thinking and made bad decisions. At times they were impatient. They even argued over who was more important. But they were good people who loved Jehovah. They would be the foundation of the Christian congregation after Jesus was gone.

These men became the pioneering leaders of the New Testament church, but they were not without faults and shortcomings. Interestingly, not one of the chosen twelve disciples was a scholar or rabbi. Jesus taught His apostles about the kingdom of heaven, and in return, He learned much from them about the kingdom of men.

Questi dodici uomini rappresentavano molti diversi tipi di temperamento umano. In senso religioso, erano laici, ignoranti nella tradizione dei rabbini e non addestrati nei metodi di interpretazione rabbinica delle Scritture. Dio li scelse per uno scopo: ravvivare le fiamme del Vangelo che si sarebbero diffuse sulla faccia della terra e avrebbero continuato a ardere luminose nei secoli a seguire. Ha selezionato e utilizzato ciascuno di questi ragazzi normali per portare a termine il suo piano eccezionale.

Their love and loyalty to Jesus made them uncommon heroes. After an intensive discipleship course and following his resurrection from the dead, the Lord fully commissioned the apostles (Matthew 28:16-2, Mark 16:15) to advance God’s kingdom and carry the gospel message to the world. Take a few moments now to learn a lesson or two from the twelve apostles—men who helped accendi la luce della verità that still dwells within our hearts today and calls us to come and follow Jesus Christ. Below is a summary of each apostle.

San Pietro

Saint Peter stained glass
San Pietro

Simon Pietro era figlio di Giona e apescatore che abitava a Betsaida e Cafarnao. Simon Pietro (fratello di Andrea), Giacomo e Giovanni furono nominati compagni personali di Gesù. Il Maestro conosceva Simone da tempo prima che Andrea lo presentasse come il secondo degli apostoli.

Simon Peter was 30 years of age when he joined the Apostles, was married, and had three children. Simon was known to all his friends as an erratic and impulsive fellow. He was constantly getting into difficulties because he persisted in speaking without thinking, and asked many questions, more than all the apostles put together; the majority of these questions were good and relevant, but many were thoughtless and foolish.

Simon Pietro era il predicatore eccezionale of the twelve; he did more than any other man, aside from Paul, to establish the kingdom and send its messengers to the four corners of the earth in one generation.

Sant'Andrea

Saint Andrew stained glass
Sant'Andrea

Andrew (brother of Simon Peter) and the son of Jonas. He lived in Bethsaida and Capernaum and was a fisherman. Andrew was initially a follower of John the Baptist. He brought his brother, Saint Peter, to Our Lord. He was the first chosen apostle, was active in bringing people to Jesus, and was the director-general of the Twelve.

Andrew was chairman of the apostolic corps of the kingdom and he was 33, a full year older than Jesus and the oldest of the apostles. Saint Andrew was the best judge of men, a good organizer but a better administrator. Saint Andrew died on the cross

San Giacomo il Maggiore

Saint James the Greater stained glass
San Giacomo il Maggiore

Giacomo il Vecchio era figlio di Zebedeo e Salome e fratello di Giovanni Apostolo. Era anche un pescatore che viveva a Betsaida, Cafarnao e Gerusalemme.

Peter, James son of Zebedee (older brother of John), and John were appointed personal companions of Jesus. They were to attend him day and night, to minister to his physical and sundry needs, and to accompany him on those night vigils of prayer and mysterious communion with the Father in heaven.

James son of Zebedee was 30 years old when he became an apostle, he was married and had four children. James had a fiery temper, was a well-balanced thinker, and was a very tactical planner. He was next to Peter unless it was Matthew, James was the best public orator among the twelve, thus the primo dei dodici a sacrificare la sua vita sulla nuova linea di battaglia del regno. James era anche conosciuto come James "il Maggiore"

San Giovanni

Saint John stained glass
San Giovanni

He was 24 years old when he became an apostle and was the youngest of the twelve, unmarried, and lived with his parents. He was perhaps just a bit spoiled and was a man of few words except when his temper was aroused.

He was gifted with a remarkable and creative imagination. John Zebedee died a natural death at Ephesus in A.D. 103 when he was 101 years of age.

San Filippo

Saint Philip stained glass
San Filippo

Philip came from Bethsaida, the same town as Saint Peter and Saint Andrew. It is believed that he was a fisherman. Philip was made steward of the group. It was his duty to provide food and to see that visitors and even the multitude of listeners at times, had something to eat. Apostle Philip was the fifth apostle to be chosen and was 27 years of age when he joined the disciples.

Philip had recently been married, but he had no children at this time. He came from a family of seven, three boys and four girls. Though Philip was not necessarily dull, he lacked imagination and was not a man who could be expected to do big things, but he was a man who could do little things in a big way and do them well and acceptably. Apostle Philip was not a good public speaker, but he was a very persuasive and successful personal worker

San Bartolomeo

Saint Bartholomew stained glassed
San Bartolomeo

He lived in Bethsaida and Bartholomew Nathanael was the son of Talmai and lived in Cana of Galilee. Many believe that he was the only one of the twelve men who descended from royalty.

Bartholomew watched over the needs of the families of the twelve. He received regular reports as to the requirements of each apostle’s family and made requisitions on Judas, the treasurer, who would send funds each week to those in need. He was the sixth and last of the apostles to be chosen by the Master himself and was brought to Jesus by his friend Philip.

Bartholomew was 25 years old and was the next to the youngest of the group, he was the youngest of a family of seven, unmarried, and the only support of aged and infirm parents. Saint Bartholomew was an apostolic philosopher and dreamer, but he was a very practical sort of dreamer. Bartholomew also refers or known as (Nathaniel) was one of the best-educated men among the twelve.

San Matteo o San Levi

Saint Matthew stained glass
San Matteo

Matteo era figlio di Alfeo e viveva a Cafarnao. Lui era unesattore delle tasse. It is believed that one of the reasons Jesus chose Matthew is because he had studied Scripture and had a great understanding of its meaning. Matthew (Levi) was the fiscal agent of the apostolic corps. It was his duty to see that the budget was balanced, and the treasury replenished.

If the funds for mutual support were not forthcoming, if donations sufficient to maintain the party were not received, Matthew was empowered to order the twelve back to their nets for a season. But this was never necessary after they began their public work; he always had sufficient funds in the treasurer’s hands to finance their activities.

Levi was the seventh apostle and was chosen by Andrew. Matthew was 31 years old, married, and had four children. He was a good businessman and a good social mixer gifted with the ability to make friends and to get along smoothly with a great variety of people. Matthew gave practically the whole of his modest fortune to the work of the Master and his apostles, but they never knew of this generosity. The apostles all died without knowing that Matthew was their benefactor.

San Tommaso

Saint Thomas stained glass
San Tommaso

Thomas Didymus lived in Galilee. The synoptic Gospels tell us nothing of Thomas but John gives us more insight into his personality. Thomas (Didymus) was the manager of the itinerary. It devolved upon him to arrange lodgings and in a general way select places for teaching and preaching, thereby ensuring a smooth and expeditious travel schedule. He was the eighth disciple and was chosen by Philip.

He was 29 when he joined the Apostles and was married with four children. Thomas was formerly a carpenter and stonemason, but latterly he had become a fisherman and had little education, he possessed a keen, reasoning mind and was the son of excellent parents. Thomas grew up having a very disagreeable and quarrelsome disposition.

His wife was glad to see him join the apostles; she was relieved by the thought that her pessimistic husband would be away from home most of the time. Thomas was a good executive, and an excellent businessman, but his many moods handicapped him. If Jesus and his work had not been genuine, it could not have held a man like Thomas from start to finish. He had a keen and sure sense of the fact.

San Giacomo il Minore

Saint James the Less stained glass
San Giacomo il Minore

James, the Lesser, or Younger was the son of Cleophas and Mary. He lived in Galilee. Although James is believed to have been the brother of the Apostle Jude, some scholars believe that he was the brother of the Apostle Matthew. Saint James “the Less” and Judas were assigned to the management of the multitudes.

It was their task to deputize a sufficient number of assistant ushers to enable them to maintain order among the crowds during the preaching. Saint James the Less was a fisherman, he was 26 years old, married, and had three children, was thought to be the cousin of Jesus and helped Philip with the supplies and also carried money to the families for Nathaniel.

San Simone lo Zelota

Saint Simon stained glass
Saint Simon

Very little is known about Simon the Zealot, but he was called the Zealot and lived in Galilee. Simon Zealotes (the Zealot) was given charge of recreation and play. He managed the Wednesday programs and sought to provide a few hours of relaxation and diversion each day. He was the eleventh apostle and was chosen by Simon-Peter.

He was 28 years old when he became attached to the apostles. Simon the Zealot was a fiery agitator; and a man who spoke much without thinking. He was a very efficient organizer and a great debater and he did like to argue.

San Giuda

Saint Jude stained glass
San Giuda

Jude Thaddeus lived in Galilee. He was the son of Alpheus or Cleophas and Mary and the brother of James the Lesser.

Giuda era un pescatore, was married, and had at least one child. Jude helped Philip with the supplies and also carried money to the families for Nathaniel. Judas was also known as Jude, Lebbaeus, and Thaddaeus

Giuda Iscariota

Judas Kiss
Judas kisses Jesus

Judas Iscariot was the traitor; the man who betrayed Jesus. He was the son of Simon who lived in Kerioth of Judah. Of the group of twelve men, Judas was the only Judean. All the others came from Galilee. Judas Iscariot was appointed treasurer. He carried the bag. He paid all expenses and kept the books. He made budget estimates for Matthew from week to week and also made weekly reports to Andrew. Judas paid out funds on Andrew’s authorization.

Judas was an only son of wealthy and unwise Jewish parents living in Jericho. Judas was 30 years of age and unmarried when he joined the Apostles. At a young age, he was pampered and petted; he was a spoiled child. Judas Iscariot was looking for employment in these regions when Jesus’ apostles found him and he was the only Judean among the twelve apostles. Judas was a good businessman, a great executive, a farseeing and able financier, and a stickler for organization. Judas Iscariot was one of the best-educated men among the twelve.

San Mattia

Saint Matthias stained glass
San Mattia

Apostle Matthias was a disciple of Jesus Christ but was not part of the original 12. He is the only disciple who wasn’t summoned or called into the ministry by Jesus. Instead, he was chosen by the other disciples to replace Judas Iscariot, who committed suicide by hanging himself after betraying Jesus.

Apostle Matthias is only referenced by name in Acts 1:23 and Acts 1:26, but after that, anytime the Twelve Apostles are named collectively, he is included. The New Testament tells us nothing about him other than these two mentions in Acts. We do know that he matched Peter’s criteria for replacing Judas: he had accompanied Jesus since his baptism by John the Baptist, and he had witnessed Jesus’ ascension to heaven (Acts 1:21; Acts 1:22).

Come con altri discepoli più oscuri, la chiesa primitiva era spesso perplessa riguardo all'identità di Mattia, rendendo difficile per noi scoprire molto di più su di lui. Alcuni dicevano che era la stessa persona di Natanaele o Zaccheo, e alcuni addirittura sostenevano che fosse la stessa persona di Matteo. Ci sono anche testi apocrifi che pretendono di offrirci un resoconto dell'opera di Mattia, e numerose storie si sono sviluppate intorno ai suoi viaggi missionari e alla sua morte.

Gesù chiamato

Mentre Gesù andava in giro insegnando e guarendo, chiamava le persone a iniziare a seguirlo. Una volta, mentre camminava lungo il lago chiamato Mare di Galilea, vide due pescatori. Simone e suo fratello Andrea stavano gettando una rete nel lago per pescare. Gesù disse loro:

Come and follow me. I will make you fishermen who will catch people.

Allora Simone e Andrea lasciarono le reti e seguirono Gesù. Gesù diede a Simone un altro nome: "Roccia". In lingua aramaica questo nome si chiama “Cephas” e in lingua greca si chiama “Pietro”.

Mentre Gesù continuava a camminare lungo il lago, vide altri due fratelli. Giacomo e Giovanni erano figli di un uomo chiamato Zebedeo. Erano nella loro barca, preparando le reti per pescare. Gesù disse ai fratelli di venire con lui. Lasciarono dunque la barca e il padre e seguirono Gesù.

Jesus' Calling
Jesus' Calling

Un altro giorno, Gesù stava camminando in riva al lago. Vide lì l'ufficio delle tasse e un esattore delle tasse di nome Mathew Levi seduto lì. Gesù gli disse:

"Seguimi."

Allora Matteo si alzò e seguì Gesù.

Many people followed Jesus. They were called disciples, that is, people who learn from a teacher. Out of his disciples, Jesus chose twelve men and called them apostles. The word apostle means qualcuno che viene mandato fuori. Dopo averli addestrati, ha dato loro il potere di guarire le persone.

Poi li mandò a predicare e guarire. These are the names of the twelve apostles: Simon Peter, James and John (the sons of Zebedee), Andrew, Phillip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot. Judas Iscariot was the one who later turned Jesus over to his enemies.

Those Who Became His Body: The Holy Apostles

Ora hai una breve introduzione ai dodici uomini, che per tre anni hanno seguito Nostro Signore e che, dopo l'Ascensione di Gesù, hanno camminato sui sentieri che Egli aveva loro indicato.

Queste erano brevi introduzioni, ma offriremo articoli su ciascun apostolo, compresi i profili della loro vita, dal loro incontro con Gesù all'inizio del loro ministero, i loro viaggi e la conclusione con la loro morte accanto alle storie del Santo Apostolo.

Troverai articoli su ogni apostolo e sulla sua influenza sulle persone nei luoghi in cui insegnavano. Ti verranno offerte anche preghiere per la loro intercessione e informazioni sul loro patrocinio.

Per favore, resta con noi mentre continuiamo a portareThe Holy Apostlesa casa tua.

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