June 18, 2015

How the Apostles Where Martyred

St. James the Greater

James, son of Zebedee: Killed by Herod (Acts 12:2). The Acts of the Apostles records that "Herod the king" (traditionally identified with Herod Agrippa) had James executed by sword. He is the only apostle whose martyrdom is recorded in the New Testament.  Eusebius says James’ calm demeanor at trial so sufficiently impressed that one of his accusers converted.

St. Peter

Peter (Simon Peter): Crucifixion, as implied by Jesus in John 21:18-19 in Rome, as mentioned by second-century sources such as Tertullian. According to Christian tradition, Peter was crucified in Rome under Emperor Nero Augustus Caesar.  It is traditionally held that he was crucified upside down at his own request, since he saw himself unworthy to be crucified in the same way as Jesus. Tradition holds that he was crucified at the site of the Clementine Chapel. His mortal remains are said to be those contained in the underground Confessio of St. Peter's Basilica, where Pope Paul VI announced in 1968 the excavated discovery of a first-century Roman cemetery.

St. Andrew

Andrew: Reportedly martyred by crucifixion on an X-shaped cross. This information comes from a second-century manuscript. Andrew is said to have been martyred at the city of Patras (Patræ) in Achaea, on the northern coast of the Peloponnese. Early  texts describe Andrew as bound, not nailed, to a Latin cross of the kind on which Jesus is said to have been crucified; yet a tradition developed that Andrew was crucified on a cross of the form called Crux decussata (X-shaped cross, or "saltire"), now commonly known as a "Saint Andrew's Cross" — supposedly at his own request, as he deemed himself unworthy to be crucified on the same type of cross as Jesus had been.

St. Philip

Philip: According to the Acts of Philip he died after being hung upside-down with iron hooks through his ankles by the proconsul of Hierapolis. Included in the Acts of Philip is an appendix, entitled "Of the Journey of Philip the Apostle: From the Fifteenth Act Until the End, and Among Them the Martyrdom." This appendix gives an account of Philip's martyrdom in the city of Hierapolis.  According to this account, through a miraculous healing and his preaching Philip converted the wife of the proconsul of the city. This enraged the proconsul, and he had Philip, Bartholomew, and Mariamne all tortured. Philip and Bartholomew were then crucified upside-down, and Philip preached from his cross. As a result of Philip's preaching the crowd released Bartholomew from his cross, but Philip insisted that they not release him, and Philip died on the cross. Another legend is that he was martyred by beheading in the city of Hierapolis.

St. Bartholomew

Bartholomew:  Bishop Hippolytus tells us he was crucified in Armenia. He is said to have been martyred in Albanopolis in Armenia.  According to one account, he was beheaded, but a more popular tradition holds that he was flayed alive and crucified, head downward. He is said to have converted Polymius, the king of Armenia, to Christianity. Astyages, Polymius' brother, consequently ordered Bartholomew's execution.

St. Thomas

Thomas: Tradition holds that he was sent to India to preach, where he was killed by being stabbed with a spear. This claim is made by local Indian Christians. According to tradition, St. Thomas was killed at Mylapore, near Chennai, in 72 and his body was interred there. Ephrem the Syrian states that the Apostle was martyred in India, and that his relics were taken then to Edessa. This is the earliest known record of his martyrdom.

St. Matthew

Matthew: Was martyred in Egypt or in Persia. The manner of his death is unknown. Later Church fathers such as Irenaeus (Against Heresies 3.1.1) and Clement of Alexandria claim that Matthew preached the Gospel to the Jewish community in Judea, before going to other countries. Ancient writers are not agreed as to what these other countries are.

St. James the Lesser

James, son of Alphaeus, “James the Less” mentioned in Mark 15:40 as the son of Mary and Clopas. According to the first century Jewish historian Josephus, he was stoned by the   Pharisees. This is seconded by Hippolytus. A James was arrested along with some other Christians and was executed by King Herod Agrippa in persecution of the church. Acts 12:1,2 However, the James in Acts 12:1,2 has a brother called John. James, son of Zebedee has a brother called John (Matthew 4:21) and we are never explicitly told that James son of Alphaeus has a brother. Robert Eisenman and Achille Camerlynck both suggest that the death of James in Acts 12:1-2 is James, son of Zebedee and not James son of Alphaeus. In Christian art he is depicted holding a fuller's club (when identified with James the Less). Tradition maintains James the Less was crucified at Ostrakine in Lower Egypt, where he was preaching the Gospel.

St. Jude 

Jude/Lebbaeus Thaddaeus: He went with Simon to preach in Armenia. The Catholic saints index says he was clubbed to death. According to tradition, Saint Jude suffered martyrdom about 65 AD in Beirut, in the Roman province of Syria, together with the apostle Simon the Zealot, with whom he is usually connected. The axe that he is often shown holding in pictures symbolizes the way in which he was killed. Their acts and martyrdom were recorded in an Acts of Simon and Jude that was among the collection of passions and legends traditionally associated with the legendary Abdias, bishop of Babylon, and said to have been translated into Latin by his disciple Tropaeus Africanus, according to the Golden Legend account of the saints.


St. Simon

Simon the Zealot: Conflicting traditions. Tradition holds that he was martyred in Persia or Edessa. In art, Simon has the identifying attribute of a saw because he was traditionally martyred by being sawn in half.

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