From the Rector: Chaplet of the 12 Holy Apostles

I recently made a chaplet for the 50th reunion of the Cathedral High School to use as part of their silent auction.  The chaplet is a little prayer tool to help meditate on the lives of the 12 apostles, or the 12 articles of the Apostles Creed.  Here are some little reflections and instructions to help guide this meditation. Get familiar with the Apostles, they are powerful intercessors for us in Heaven.

Chaplet of the 12 Holy Apostles

Hold the crucifix in hand, make the sign of the cross, and recite the Apostles Creed. 

On the next three beads recite the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be. Then begin each of the 12 segments of the chaplet by invoking the Apostle by name, reflecting on his life, and then saying the three prayers.

St. Andrew
Andrew was the brother of Peter, and a son of Jonas. He lived in Bethsaida and Capernaum and was a fisherman before Jesus called him. Originally he was a disciple of John the Baptist (Mark 1:16-18). He was crucified on an X-shaped cross, which is still called Saint Andrew’s cross and which is one of his apostolic symbols. A symbol of two crossed fish has also been applied to Andrew, because he was formerly a fisherman.

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be.

St. Bartholomew known also as Nathanael
Bartholomew Nathanael, son of Talmai, lived in Cana of Galilee. His apostolic symbol is three parallel knives. His first name was Nathanael, whom Jesus called “An Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile” (John 1:47).

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be.

St. James, the Elder
James, the Elder, Boanerges, son of Zebedee and Salome, brother of John the Apostle; a fisherman who lived in Bethsaida, Capernaum and Jerusalem. He preached in Jerusalem and Judea and was beheaded by Herod, AD 44 (Acts 12:1,2).
He was the first of the twelve to become a martyr. His symbol is three shells, the sign of his pilgrimage by the sea.

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be.

St. James, the Lesser (or the Younger)
James, the Lesser or Younger, son of Alpheus, or Cleophas and Mary, lived in Galilee. He was the brother of the Apostle Jude. Died as a martyr and his body was sawed in pieces. Thus the saw became his apostolic symbol.

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be.

St. John
John Boanerges, son of Zebedee and Salome, brother of James, the Apostle. He was known as the Beloved Disciple. A fisherman who lived in Bethsaida, Capernaum and Jerusalem. He wrote the Gospel of John, I John, II John, III John and Revelation. From the cross Jesus entrusted Mary, His mother to John.  It is said that an attempt was made on his life by giving him a chalice of poison from which God spared him.  Thus a chalice with a snake in it is his symbol.

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be.

St. Matthias
Matthias was selected to replace Judas Iscariot, the traitor, Acts 1:15-26.  Judas betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver and afterwards hanged himself (Matthew 26:14,16).
Lots were cast and eventually Matthias was chosen. Acts 1:24-26  and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be.

St. Jude Thaddeus
He was a brother of James the Younger.  He preached in Assyria and Persia and died a martyr in Persia. St. Jerome called Jude “Trinomious” which means “a man with three names.” In Mark 3:18 he is called Thaddeus. In Matthew 10:3 he is called Lebbeus. His surname was Thaddeus. In Luke 6:16 and Acts 1:13 he is called Judas the brother of James. He was killed with arrows at Ararat. The chosen symbol for him is the ship because he was a missionary thought to be a fisherman.

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be.

St. Matthew (Levi)
Matthew, or Levi, son of Alpheus, lived in Capernaum. He was a publican or tax collector. He wrote the Gospel that bears his name. He died a martyr in Ethiopia.
The apostolic symbol of Matthew is three money bags which reminds us that he was a tax collector before Jesus called him.

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be.

St. Peter
Simon Peter, son of Jonas, was a fisherman who lived in Bethsaida and Capernaum. He authored the two New Testament epistles which bear his name. In every apostolic list, the name Peter is mentioned first. His Greek name was Simon (Mark 1:16; John 1:40, 41). His Hebrew name was Cephas (1 Corinthians 1:12; 3:22; 9:5 and Galatians 2:9). The Greek meaning of Simon is rock. The Arabic meaning of Cephas is also rock. Peter was martyred in Rome on a cross. Peter requested that he might be crucified head downward for he was not worthy to die as his Lord had died. His apostolic symbol is a cross upside down with crossed keys.

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be.

St. Philip
Philip preached in Phrygia and died a martyr at Hierapolis. Philip came from Bethsaida, the town from which Peter and Andrew came (John 1:44). The Gospel of John shows Philip as one of the first to whom Jesus addressed the words, “Follow Me.” When Philip met Christ, he immediately found Nathanael and told him that “we have found him, of whom Moses … and the prophets, did write.”
The symbol of Philip is a basket, because of his part in feeding of the five thousand.

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be.

St. Simon the Zealot
Simon, the Zealot, called the Canaanite or Zelotes, lived in Galilee.
He died as a martyr. His apostolic symbol is a fish lying on a Bible, which indicates he was a former fisherman who became a fisher of men through preaching.

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be.

St. Thomas (Didymus)
Thomas lived in Galilee. He labored in Parthia, Persia, and India, suffering martyrdom near Madras, at Mt. St. Thomas, India. Thomas was his Hebrew name and Didymus was his Greek name. Thomas making the greatest confession of faith, “My Lord and my God.” Thomas’  He was killed with a spear as a martyr for his Lord. His symbol is a group of spears, stones and arrows.

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be.

 

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