Today's Saints (May 1): Philip and James, Apostles
Saint Philip came from Bethsaida in Galilee. He became a disciple early on, having most likely been a follower of John the Baptist. He subsequently persuaded Nathanael (probably Bartholomew) to be a disciple of our Lord as well. At the feeding of the five thousand, Philip questioned whether 200 pennyworth of bread would be sufficient to feed all those gathered.
Many Gentiles came to Our Lord through Philip's ministry, and he is known also for asking Our Lord to show him God the Father, at which Our Lord responded, "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen my Father also." (The day's gospel reading.)
Saint James the Less was the son of Alphaeus. (Mk. 3:18). Little is know with certainty about his life. He is sometimes held to be the same person as James, 'the Lord's brother,' but such a position is highly doubtful. The same tradition would have it that James the less wrote the Catholic epistle which bears his name and is used for the epistle reading for the day.
Whether or not he wrote the epistle and is, in fact, the Lord's brother, the epistle speaks to all Christians - "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life: which the Lord hath promised to them that love him." (St. James 1:12), (Page E 55, The People's Anglican Missal).
The accompanying picture of the two saints was created by Albrecht Dürer in 1516, and is a tempera on Canvas. The work is in the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence, Italy.
Books Worth Considering
The 12 : The Lives of the Apostles After Calvary
The Inner Circle : Studying the Lives of 13 Apostles
The 12 Apostles : Their Lives & Acts (Children's Book)
Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
The Treasury of Saints and Martyrs
The Oxford Dictionary of Saints (Oxford Paperback Reference)
The Penguin Dictionary of Saints: Third Edition (Dictionary, Penguin)