With momentum growing in His ministry and the battles with the Jewish leadership escalating, Christ moves to establish men who will be His leaders of the Catholic Church. After going up on a mountain for an all-night prayer vigil with the Father (Luke 6:12), Christ hand-selects 12 men to be His Apostles (meaning “to be sent”) from His growing group of disciples.  Christ exclusively chooses men to establish a new priesthood for His New Covenant and to underscore the essential role that men must play in the Church.

Each of these Apostles (excluding Judas), are patriarchs (“Fathers”) of the Church and will give their lives in the service of Christ. Simon Peter is the first pope, is the source for Mark’s Gospel, writes the Epistles of 1st and 2nd Peter and is martyred in Rome. James the Greater, the brother of John, was one of three of Christ’s inner circle (Peter, James and John) and was martyred in Jerusalem. John, part of Christ’s inner core, is directed by Christ to watch over the Virgin Mary, writes the Gospel of John, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John and Revelation; he is harassed and exiled to Patmos. Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, evangelized Greeks and was crucified in Patras on an X-shaped cross. Philip evangelized in modern day Turkey and continued to preach as he was crucified upside down. Bartholomew (also called Nathanael) may have evangelized in India and was flayed (skinned) to death. Matthew wrote the first Gospel, preached to the Jews in Judea and was martyred in Italy. Thomas preached in India and was martyred by spear. James the Lesser was thrown from the Temple wall, stoned and clubbed to death. Thaddeus (also called Jude) evangelized in Syria and was killed with an axe.  Simon Cananaean (also the Zealot) may have evangelized in Britain and Spain and was sawn in half.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of the Father, Christ prays a all night long prayer vigil as He prepares to call the Apostles. Son of Man, Christ demonstrates incredible stamina by praying all night and then healing and preaching the Sermon on the Plain.  Divine King, Christ appoints 12 men as His Apostles and signals His world-wide kingdom by speaking to Israel and Gentiles.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Christ’s purposeful selection of the 12 Apostles establishes the Church and endures to this day.  Review the Catechism’s teaching about “The Church is Apostolic” (CCC 857-870).

2) In the relativistic, self-focused society, many argue there is no such thing as truth. Realizing that Christ and His loyal Apostles (and millions more) have been martyred for Truth, review the Church’s teaching on Truth (CCC 2464-2513). Pray for Christ to help strengthen and prepare you to stand for truth, regardless of the cost.

3) Reflect on God’s deliberate consistent decision across Salvation History to choose men to lead Israel (CCC 50-64), is the Man Christ in the Incarnation, establishes the Church with 12 men to be Apostles.  Pray for Christ to strengthen you as a Catholic man to be a leader in your family, parish and in the Church.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ

Virtue of the Day – Faith

Corporal Work of Mercy – To visit the sick

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To forgive all injuries