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Apostles of Jesus

The apostles of Jesus were his closest followers. They were the ones he trusted to spread his message and bring him followers and witnesses to believe in Christianity. There were twelve apostles of Jesus; Simon Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip of Bethsaida, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James the Lesser, Simon, Thaddeus, and Judas. Sometime known by Greek or Roman names depending on the Testament you are reading from. Thaddeus was also known as Jude, and Simon was named Peter.

The Roles of the Apostles

After the Resurrection, the disciples of Jesus had one mission to spread the truth of what happened in Judea. They went and told the people they could be saved if they turned towards God. The disciples were all forced to go through trials for their faith, but all of them except for one stayed loyal to Jesus throughout. The one who betrayed him was Judas. Simon, John, James, and James the lesser were responsible for writing the Bible. In the beginning, Jesus sent his apostles out in pairs to Galilee. They were to heal the sick and drive out the demons. They took nothing with them in the way of food or money. They only took a staff and the tunics they wore to go out and spread his message. Several of the apostles were recruited shortly after Jesus returned from being tempted by the devil. His mission fully restored and looking for some trusted followers to teach. He knew eventually he would die for his mission, and wanted to leave those behind who could continue to spread God’s message of repentance and forgiveness.

Symbols of the Saints

All of the apostles were made Saints except for Judas who betrayed Jesus. Like must things in the Christian faith the Saints were each given something that represented who they were and what they did. Each Saint has a Christian symbol that represents them. Bartholomew was supposedly flayed alive, crucified, and then beheaded. Three knifes symbolize Bartholomew. Saint Andrew was said to have been crucified in Greece so his symbol is a red cross saltire. A shell with a sword through it represents Saint James the Greater. It symbolizes his pilgrimage by the sea. James the lesser is represented by a saw because his death was rumored to have been by sawing him into pieces. A snake in a chalice represents John. At one point, someone tried to kill him by poisoning a chalice. A ship represents Jude or Thaddeus. Matthew's shield shows three purses as he was the son of a tax collector, Paul has a sword and open book on his shield as he spoke the Word of God.

Saint Peter is shown as an upside down cross with two keys. The upside down cross is because he asked crucified upside down, because he didn't worthy of being crucified same as Jesus, the keys represent Jesus saying he would give him the keys to Heaven. A cross and two loaves of bread representing his comment at the feeding of the multitude represent Saint Philip. A fish on a book represents Saint Simon the Zealot because he was a fisher of men teaching the gospel. Lastly, a spear and a square represent Saint Thomas as he met his end on a spear and built a church with his hands. While it is not stated in the Bible how any of the Saints died besides Judas and John, these are the traditional tales of their passing. These symbols represent each Saint and can often be seen in stain glass windows in churches and around Christian locations.