Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Saint Philip and Saint James

Today is the double celebration of the feast day of Saint Philip and Saint James in some churches.  We know that Philip was one of the Twelve Apostles, but the identity of this James has shifted over the years.  For a long time he was believed have been the James who was called the brother of Jesus, which is how Christopher Wordsworth identified him in this hymn for the day, published in Wordsworth's hymnal The Holy Year (1865).

O Jesus, blest the grace of Love
Shed on our hearts by thee;
Which makes us to another's soul
Dear as our own to be.

"Follow thou me?" that question dear
Thou once to Philip said;
He followed thee, and on the way
To heav'n he others led.

Today with thine own brother, Lord,
Philip is linked in love;
As kindred, to each other joined
By graces from above.

O bring us to that holy place,
That heav'nly home above;
Where kindred shall as angels be,
And ev'ry word be Love.

Christopher Wordsworth, 1865; alt.
John Bacchus Dykes, 1875

P.S. - Last summer, a group of Italian archaeologists believe that they found the tomb of Philip the Apostle in Turkey.

Three Years Ago: Saint Philip and Saint James

Two Years Ago: Joseph Addison

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