School History

Our School Name and Patron Saint

Apostles of Jesus

The word “Apostle” comes for the Greek apostello meaning “to send forth”. The title, Apostles of Jesus, is used to refer to the 12 disciples Jesus called to send forth with a special mission. The Apostles include, Peter, Andrew, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James (the greater), James (the lesser), Jude, Simon, and Judas (some lists omit Judas). These men, whose names are recorded in Matthew 10:1-4, Mark 3:13-19, and Luke 6:12-16, are distinguished from the large group of disciples (students and followers of Christ) by their formal appointment, authority and duties. They are, for example, appointed to be the companions of Jesus, entrusted with the ministry of preaching the kingdom, and are given the power to cure diseases and cast out evil spirits.

After the death of Judas who betrayed Jesus, Matthias was chosen to take Judas’ place as he was one of the seventy disciples who had been with Jesus from the time John baptized him and because he could also testify to the resurrection of Jesus (Acts 1:12-26).

In fulfilling their call, the Apostles became representatives of Jesus and ambassadors for God’s kingdom, travelling to distant lands with the message of salvation. They were sent to make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20) and faithfully administer God’s grace (1 Peter 4:10). Some of them (James, Peter and John) are also credited with becoming writers of scripture. Some started out as fishermen and one was a tax collector; some were beaten and imprisoned during their vocation and many were martyred for their faith.

The Apostles were a gift that Christ gave to the Church, along with evangelists, pastors and teachers, for the purpose of preparing God’s people for works of service and to build up the Body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:1-16) The authority given by Our Lord to the Apostles was given for the entire church and endures in their successors through the imposition of hands (e.g., Bishops, and their delegates: priests and deacons).

Two other people are also referred to as Apostles. First, St. Paul refers to himself as an Apostle (1 Corinthians 1:9) as the Risen Christ appeared to him and called him to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 9:1-20; 22:3-21; 26:9-23). More recently, St. Mary Magdalene was also officially recognized as an Apostle. Given the title “Apostle to the Apostles” by St. Thomas Aquinas, Mary Magdalene was the first witness of the Risen Christ and the first to announce the Lord’s resurrection to the Apostles. In June 2016, her feast day was elevated in the Catholic Church allowing her to be liturgically celebrated like the rest of the Apostles. Her role as the Apostle to the Apostles “calls upon us to reflect more deeply on the dignity of women, the new evangelization and the greatness of the mystery of divine mercy.” (Accessed February 1, 2017)

We express profound reverence for the Apostles who first preached the word of God and were stewards of the mysteries of God. We honour them with special feast days in the liturgical calendar. As disciples, we strive to imitate Christ and take the good news into the world by living lives of holiness as well as of faith, hope and love. The Apostles help us to see that our efforts and the good news we share needs to be about Jesus and not ourselves.

The feast for the Apostles of Jesus may be celebrated on any of the following days:

St. Peter: June 29 (with St. Paul)
St. Andrew: November 30
St. John: December 27
St. Philip: May 3 (with St. James)St. Bartholomew: August 24
St. Thomas: July 3
St. Matthew: September 21
St. James (the greater; so named because he became an apostle before James the
Lesser): July 25
St. James (the lesser): May 3 (with St. Philip)
St. Jude: October 28 (with St. Simon)
St. Simon: October 28 (with St. Jude)
St. Matthias: May 14
St. Paul: June 29 (with St. Peter)
St. Mary Magdalene: July 22

As a school community we have selected the Patron Saint date of June 29 in celebration of St. Paul and St. Peter.