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12 Apostles: Presentation of the Twelve Apostles -

12 Apostles: Presentation of the Twelve Apostles

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In this article, we are going to introduce you to the 12 apostles of Jesus and share with you some passages stating: their meeting with Jesus, the exploits they accomplished for the propagation of the Gospel and the day of their death.

It was at that time that he went into the mountain to pray, and he spent the whole night praying to God. When the day came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve, whom he called "apostles" (Luke 6:12-13).


A- Who are the Twelve Apostles?

Who were the twelve disciples (apostles) of Jesus and what should we know about them? The disciples of Jesus were among the best known and most influential figures in Christian history. Jesus called the apostles to follow him and help him in the mission entrusted to him by God. Jesus saw the potential in them and told them that he would make them fishers of men. We have seen in history how they were the founders of modern churches through the sharing of the good news. Regardless of their hard work, they faced various persecutions in spreading the Holy Word.

They were Jews who consecrated their lives to be disciples of the Lord Jesus. Jesus spent three years training these men to spread the good news to the whole world. Jesus' plan was to have the disciples take over and continue the work he had started. 

In Luke 6:13, it says that Jesus chose 12 disciples whom he appointed apostles. And in Mark 6:30, the twelve are called apostles when it comes to their return from the mission of preaching and healing for which Jesus had sent them.

When a vacuum had been left by the defection and death of the traitor Judas Iscariot, immediate steps were taken to fill it through the election of Matthias (Acts 1). 

The Twelve had the privilege of permanently attending their master and being the beneficiaries of his teaching and special training. . At least once they were sent on a special mission, two by two, to announce the imminence of the Messianic kingdom (Mark 6: compare Matthew 10; Luke 9). (Mark 6: compare Matthew 10; Luke 9) Three of them, Peter, James, and John, formed a small circle that was the only one who could witness such events as the education of Jairus' daughter (Mark 5:37; Luke 8:51), the Transfiguration (Mark 9; Matthew 17; Luke 9), and Jesus' agony in the garden of Gethsemane.

There is a condition laid down in the Acts of the Apostles that a newly appointed apostle must be able to give an eyewitness account of the Lord's resurrection. According to some early Christian writers, some were called "apostles" after the period covered by the New Testament. 

12 apotles

B- The 12 Disciples: The Legend of the Twelve

Some of the apostles play key roles in well-known Bible stories. Others are mentioned only in the apostles' lists, or they have only one line of dialogue in the gospels. Some of the apostles were known by more than one name, which can complicate the understanding of these and other lists. (For example, the apostle Philip is not Philip the evangelist, who appears in Acts 6:5, Acts 8:5-6, and Acts 21:8.) Much of what we know about the apostles comes from the tradition of the church

Unfortunately, tradition has often turned legends into facts. It is often difficult to discern the details of where the disciples went, what they did and how they died without assuming that the legends surrounding them are rooted in truth. Today, many Christians simply accept tradition (and therefore legends) at face value. But if we care about the truth and claim to represent it, we have a duty to examine this information more critically, and we must be prepared to accept when we simply do not know something. At least that is the position that many Christians take.

C- Introduction of each Apostle

Each of the apostles was one of the main leaders of the movement that became Christianity and helped to spread the Gospel throughout the world. The apostle Matthias is technically also one of the Twelve, but he is usually not included in the lists for several reasons: He was appointed after the death of Judas Iscariot and was not called into the group by Jesus. Four passages in the Bible list the names of the 12 apostles (technically, the last one only lists 11, because Judas Iscariot was dead).

1- Peter: buried in St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican CityRomeItaly

He was the son of Jonah, who was a fisherman. He lived in Bethsaida and Capernaum. He was a member of the inner circle of Jesus and carried out his missionary and evangelistic work all the way to Babylon. He is the author of two books in the Bible, namely 1st Peter and 2nd Peter. He was martyred on a cross, and he asked to be crucified upside down, because he said that he was not worthy to die like his master.

2- Andrew: buried in St. Andrew's CathedralPatrasGreece

He was the brother of Peter and a son of Jonah. They lived in Bethsaida and Capernaum. They were fishermen before Jesus called him to be one of the disciples. He was part of the inner circle in Jesus' time and drew people to Christ. Andrew died in Greece in a city of Patra, martyred while being arrested and sentenced by Governor Aepeas to die on an X-shaped cross.

3- James the Great: buried in Santiago de Compostela Cathedral in Santiago de CompostelaGaliciaSpain

He was the son of Zebedee and Salome. The apostle John is his brother. He was a fisherman who lived in Bethsaida, Capernaum and Jerusalem. He was a man who showed the fruits of the Holy Spirit with extraordinary faith. He preached in Jerusalem and Judea. He was beheaded by Herod and became the first martyr among the twelve.

4- John: buried in the Basilica of St. John in EphesusTurkey

He was the son of Zebedee and Salome and a brother of the apostle James. He was a fisherman who lived in Bethsaida, Capernaum and Jerusalem. He is known as the beloved disciple and was a member of the inner circle and close to Peter. He was a man with many ambitions, but with an intolerant heart. He wrote the books of John, 1st John, 2nd John, 3rd John and the Apocalypse. His life was severely tested, but God spared him and he died a natural death.

5- Philip: buried in the Church of the Holy Apostles in Rome or possibly Hierapolis, near DenizliTurkey[25]

He was from Bethesda just like Peter and Andrew. He was one of the first men Jesus told to follow him. He had a warm heart and a pessimistic spirit. He wanted to do a lot for others, but often he did not see how he could do it. He died hanged and he himself asked that his body be wrapped in papyrus. Unlike Jesus who was wrapped in linen.

6 - Bartholomew: buried in the Basilica of BeneventoItaly, or Basilica of St. Bartholomew on the IslandRomeItaly

he was the son of Talmai living in Cana in Galilee. He came from a royal family, since his father was the king of Geshur, and his daughter was David's wife. Jesus called him as a true Israelite in whom there is nothing false.  He was a great scripture seeker and died a martyr after being skinned alive with knives.

7- Matthew: buried in the Salerno CathedralSalernoItaly

He was also known as Levi and was the son of Alpheus who lived in Capernaum. He was a tax collector. In Jewish culture, Jews were hated because they were very unjust. But Jesus still saw the potential in him and chose him. He gave his life for the faith of the Master. He wrote the Gospel of Matthew and was also the first man to write Jesus' teaching in the Hebrew language. 

8- James, son of Alpheus: buried in the Cathedral of St. James in Jerusalem or the Church of the Holy Apostles in Rome

He was the son of Alphaeus and Mary. He was the brother of another disciple of Jesus (apostle): Jude. He lived in Galilee and was one of the least known disciples. But he was a man with a strong and exemplary character. He also died as a martyr, his body having been sawn into pieces and the saw having become his apostolic symbol.

9- Simon: buried in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome under the St. Joseph altar with St. Jude

Little is known about Simon's life outside of what is recorded in the Bible. He was a Canaanite who lived in Galilee. He was a zealot, and zealots were fanatical Jewish nationalists who had a heroic contempt for the suffering they endured and the struggle for what they considered the purity of their faith. But in the end Simon became a man of faith and died a martyr, seeing that God would not have forced service.

10- Thomas: buried in the San Thome Basilica in ChennaiIndia or in the Basilica of St. Thomas the Apostle in OrtonaAbruzzoItaly

Thomas, who lived in Galilee, was a pessimistic and disoriented man, but known for his courage. He couldn't believe in anything without seeing it. But at the resurrection of Jesus and Christ's visit to the apostles, his doubts turned to faith. After all this, Thomas was commissioned to build a palace for the king of India and was killed with a spear as a martyr for his Lord.

11- Jude Thaddeus: buried in St. Peter's Basilica under the St. Joseph altar with St. Simon; two bones (relics) located at National Shrine of St Jude in ChicagoIllinois

He was also known as Thaddeus or lebbeus, and was a brother of James, son of Alphaeus. He lived in Galilee. Little is known about him. He preached the gospel in many places (including on the Euphrates River), healed many people and many others believed in his name because of him. He continued to preach the Gospel and was killed by arrows in Ararat.

12- Judas Iscariot: remains located in Akeldama, near the Valley of Hinnom, in Jerusalem

He was the son of Simon who lived in Kerioth of Judah. He is known as the traitor, for he betrayed Jesus by kissing the hands of the enemy for thirty pieces of silver. Jesus knew that Judas was going to betray him even before he did so. He was a greedy man seeking recognition from the governor. Saint Judas Iscariot died hanging.

13- Matthias: buried in the St. Matthias' Abbey in TrierRhineland-PalatinateGermany

After Judas Iscariot died, Jesus took Matthias with Him to replace Judas. Nowhere in the Bible is there any record that Matthias was with Jesus throughout his ministry. Another was considered, Joseph or Barabbas, but fate decided otherwise and Matthias was chosen. It is said that Saint Matthias would have shared the gospel on the banks of the Caspian. He lived until 80 AD.

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