Bible Event – Jesus’ Life
Jesus said to the Apostles, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you”. (Matthew 28:19-20)
So, what happened to them?
All twelve of the Apostles, including Matthias, remained in Jerusalem and the Holy Land for around 12 years preaching and healing. They then took the Gospel to other parts of the Roman Empire and beyond, to Africa, Asia and Europe.
Peter (Simon): Born in Bethsaida and became a fisherman. He was Ordained by Jesus as the “Rock of the Church,” the First Bishop of Rome, the Pope.
Outcome: With St Paul, he founded the Church of Rome. Was Pope from AD 30/33 to AD 64/68. He was martyred by crucifixion in Rome, upside down, during the reign of Emperor Nero. His remains are buried in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, Rome, Italy.
Andrew: Brother of Simon Peter. Born 6 BC in Bethsaida, Galilee. He became a fisherman and lived in Capernaum. He was a disciple of John the Baptist before being chosen as an Apostle by Jesus.
Outcome: Andrew preached in the provinces of Thrace (SE Europe), Scythia (Central Eurasia) and Achaea (Greece). Other traditions place him at modern-day Georgia, Cyprus, Romania and Ukraine. He was martyred by crucifixion at Patras in Achaea; the cross being X-shaped, St Andrew’s Cross, saltire. His remains are buried in St Andrew’s Cathedral, Patras, Greece.
James the Greater: Son of Zebedee and brother of John, the beloved. He was probably born in Bethsaida. His Mother was among the women who ministered to Jesus and the disciples. He was a disciple of John the Baptist and worked in his father’s fishing business on the Sea of Galilee.
Outcome: His mother asked Jesus to allow her sons, James and John, to sit one on either side of God in heaven. He preached the Gospel in Holy Land for 12yrs, and then, according to some legends, Iberia. He was the first Apostle to be martyred, beheaded in Jerusalem by Herod Agrippa in 44BC. His remains are buried in Santiago de Compostela Cathedral in Galicia (Spain).
John: Son of Zebedee, brother of James and worked in his father’s fishing business on the Sea of Galilee, probably born in Bethsaida. He was a disciple of John the Baptist and “The Apostle whom Jesus loved”.
Outcome: John wrote the Gospel of John, Epistles of John and the Book of Revelation. He survived poisoning but was exiled to Patmos. He died in AD 100, at the age of 93/4yrs. He was the only Apostle not to have been martyred. His remains are buried in the Basilica of St. John in Ephesus, Turkey.
Philip: Born in Bethsaida and may have been a fisherman. It was Philip who asked Jesus during the Last Supper to show them God the Father.
Outcome: Philip, accompanied by Bartholomew and his sister Mariamne, preached in Greece, Syria, and Phrygia. It is said that his healing and preaching led to the conversion of the wife of the proconsul in Hierapolis. This enraged the proconsul who ordered their torture. Philip and Bartholomew were then crucified upside down. Philip’s persistent preaching led to Bartholomew’s release but his martyrdom. His remains are buried in either the Church of the Holy Apostles, Rome or Hierapolis, near Denizli, Turkey.
Bartholomew or Nathaniel: Born in Cana, Galilee. He was famously introduced to Jesus by Philip and asked, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth”. (John 1:46)
Outcome: Bartholomew preached Jesus’ Gospel in India, Ethiopia, Mesopotamia, Parthia and Lycaonia, and with St Jude (Thaddaeus) Armenia. He was martyred. His remains are buried in the Basilica of Benevento, Italy, or Basilica of St. Bartholomew on the Island, Rome, Italy.
Thomas (Didymus – the twin): Born in Galilee and may have been a fisherman. He is famously remembered for doubting that Jesus rose from the dead saying, “Unless I see the wounds from the nails in his hands, and put my finger into the wounds from the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe it!” (John 20:25)
Outcome: He preached the Gospel in India and is often referred to as the Patron Saint of India. He was martyred in India. His remains are buried in the Basilica of St. Thomas the Apostle in Ortona, Italy or in the San Thome Basilica in Madras, India.
Matthew (Levi): Born in Galilee and became a tax collector, a profession that was despised by the Jews. Replying to criticism for eating with Matthew, Jesus said, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance”. (Mark 2:17, Luke 5:32)
Outcome: Matthew wrote the Gospel according to Matthew and preached it in Judea and beyond. He was martyred. His remains are buried in Salerno Cathedral, Salerno, Italy.
James: Son of Alphaeus, often known as James the Less. Born in Galilee.
Outcome: He preached Jesus’ Gospel in Egypt and was martyred by crucifixion at Ostrakine in Lower Egypt. His remains are buried in the Cathedral of St. James in Jerusalem or the Church of the Holy Apostles in Rome.
Jude (Thaddaeus): Born in Paneas (renamed Caesarea), Galilee. Often referred to as the Patron Saint of the Impossible or lost causes. Also, with St Bartholomew, Patron Saint of Armenian Apostolic Church.
Outcome: He preached the Gospel in Judea, Samaria, Idumaea, Syria, Mesopotamia and Libya. He was martyred by axe around 65 AD in Beirut along with Simon the Zealot. His remains are buried in St. Peter’s Basilica under St. Joseph’s altar with St. Simon; two of his bones are also located at National Shrine of St Jude in Chicago, Illinois.
Simon the Zealot: Born in Judea. He was a Zealot, a type of Politician, who stirred up hatred against the Romans.
Outcome: He preached Jesus’ Gospel in Egypt (and possibly the Middle-East and Africa) and then, with St Jude, in Beirut, Lebanon. They were both martyred around 65 AD, he may have suffered crucifixion as the Bishop of Jerusalem. His remains are buried in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome under St. Joseph’s altar with St. Jude.
Judas Iscariot: Was once a trusted Apostle of Jesus and, with the other eleven, given the power to heal and cast out evil spirits. Also given charge of the Apostles treasury – money box.
Outcome: Having betrayed Jesus by leading the Sanhedrin and soldiers to the Garden of Gesthemane, a deeply remorseful Judas threw the 30 pieces of silver into the temple and went out and hanged himself. (Matthew 27:5) Died AD 30/33.
Matthias: He was a disciple of Jesus from his baptism by John until his Ascension. He replaced Judas Iscariot following Judas’ betrayal of Jesus and his subsequent hanging.
Outcome: Greek tradition holds that St. Matthias preached the Gospel around Cappadocia and along the Caspian Sea, living near the port of Issus. It is also said that he preached in Aethiopia (Modern-day Georgia) and Ethiopia. He was martyred by either stoning or beheading. His remains are buried in St Matthias Benedictine Abbey in Trier, Germany.
I pray for those who followed in the footsteps of the Apostles, sacrificing their lives to bring the Word of Jesus to multiple others.
Lord Jesus, help us overcome our divisions and be One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church as you asked. Through your Holy Spirit, open our hearts to your love and bring unity into our world. Amen.
Prayer: Abandonment (Charles de Foucauld)
Father, I abandon myself into your hands;
do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you;
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me.
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands without reserve
and with boundless confidence, for you are my Father.