Burial of the 12 Apostles

Taking a look at the location of the 12 Apostles burial sites.

the-last-supper-da-vinciThe names of the twelve disciples of Jesus are Simon Peter, Andrew, James (the son of Zebedee), John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James (the son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot.

Simon

st-simon-the-zealot

Feast Day – October 28th

Simon the Zealot (Acts 1:13), Simon, who was called the Zealot (Luke 6:15), Simon Kananaios (Matthew 10:4) or Simon Cananeus (Mark 3:18) was one of the most obscure among the apostles of Jesus. The Catholic Encyclopedia suggests that Simon the Zealot may be the same person as Simeon of Jerusalem or Simon the brother of Jesus. He could perhaps be the cousin of Jesus or a son of Joseph from a previous marriage. Another tradition holds that this is the Simeon of Jerusalem who became the second bishop of Jerusalem, although he was born in Galilee. Simon, like the other Apostles, is regarded as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Eastern Catholic Churches, the Anglican Church and the Lutheran Church. In art, Simon has the identifying attribute of a saw because he was traditionally martyred by being sawn in half.

Burial Location

St. Simon is traditionally said to be buried in Rome, under St. Peter’s Basilica. The tomb dates between 130 and 300

Andrew

andrew-the-apostleFeast Day – November 30th

Andrew the Apostle or Andreas; from the early 1st century – mid to late 1st century AD, also known as Saint Andrew and called in the Orthodox tradition Pr?tokl?to or the First-called, was a Christian Apostle and the elder brot
her of Saint Peter. The name “Andrew” like other Greek names, appears to have been common among the Jews, Christians, and other Hellenized people of Judea. No Hebrew or Aramaic name is recorded for him. According to Orthodox tradition, the apostolic successor to Saint Andrew is the Patriarch of Constantinople. The New Testament states that Andrew was probably the brother of Simon Peter, by which it is inferred that he was likewise a son of John, or Jonah. He was born in the village of Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee. Both he and his brother Peter were fishermen by trade. Andrew, along with Saint Stachys, is recognized as the patron saint of the Patriarchate. Andrew is said to have been martyred by crucifixion at the city of Patras (Patræ) in Achaea. Early texts, such as the Acts of Andrew known to Gregory of Tours, 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 had been 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.

Burial Location

Relics of the Apostle Andrew are kept at the Basilica of St Andrew in Patras, Greece

James (the son of Zebedee)

saint_james_the_greaterFeast Day – 25 July (Western Christianity)
30 April (Eastern Christianity)
30 December (Hispanic Church)

James, son of Zebedee was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, and traditionally considered the first apostle to be martyred. He was a son of Zebedee and Salome, and brother of John the Apostle. He is also called James the Greater or James the Great to distinguish him from James, son of Alphaeus and James the brother of Jesus (James the Just). James the son of Zebedee is the patron saint of Spaniards, and as such is often identified as Santiago. 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. He is, thus, traditionally believed to be the first of the twelve apostles martyred for his faith. The tradition at Compostela placed the discovery of the relics of the saint in the time of king Alfonso II (791-842) and of bishop Theodemir of Iria. These traditions were the basis for the pilgrimage route that began to be established in the 9th century, and the shrine dedicated to James at Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia in Spain, became the most famous pilgrimage site in the Christian world. The Way of St. James is a tree of routes that cross Western Europe and arrive at Santiago through Northern Spain. Eventually James became the patron saint of Spain.

Burial Location

Buried in 

John

saint-john-the-apostleFeast Day – 27 December (Roman CatholicAnglican)
26 September (Orthodox)

John the Apostle was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament. He was the son of Zebedee and Salome. His brother was James, who was another of the Twelve Apostles. Christian tradition holds that he outlived the remaining apostles and that he was the only one to die of natural causes. Jesus sent only John and Peter into the city to make the preparation for the final Passover meal (the Last Supper). At the meal itself, the “disciple whom Jesus loved” sat next to Jesus. It was customary to lie along upon couches at meals, and this disciple leaned on Jesus. Tradition identifies this disciple as Saint John. After Jesus’ Ascension and the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, John, together with Peter, took a prominent part in the founding and guidance of the church. John spent his remaining days in Ephesus until he died somewhere around 100 A.D

Burial Location

The Basilica of St. John was a basilica in Ephesus. It was constructed by Justinian I in the 6th century. It stands over the believed burial site of John the Apostle.

Philip

philipFeast Day – 3 May (Roman Catholic Church)
14 November (Eastern Orthodox Church)

Philip the Apostle was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. Later Christian traditions describe Philip as the apostle who preached in Greece, Syria, and Phrygia. The Synoptic Gospels list Philip as one of the apostles. The Gospel of John recounts Philip’s calling as a disciple of Jesus. Philip is described as a disciple from the city of Bethsaida, and the evangelist connects him with Andrew and Peter, who were from the same town. He also was among those surrounding John the Baptist when the latter first pointed out Jesus as the Lamb of God. It was Philip who first introduced Nathanael (sometimes identified with Bartholomew) to Jesus. Philip is commonly associated with the symbol of the Latin cross. Other symbols assigned to Philip include: the cross with the two loaves (because of his answer to the Lord in John 6:7), a basket filled with bread, a spear with the patriarchal cross, and a cross with a carpenter’s square.

Burial Location

On Wednesday, 27 July 2011, the Turkish news agency Anadolu reported that archaeologists had unearthed a tomb that the project leader claims to be the Tomb of Saint Philip during excavations in Hierapolis close to the Turkish city Denizli. The Italian archaeologist, Professor Francesco D’Andria stated that scientists had discovered the tomb within a newly revealed church. He stated that the design of the Tomb, and writings on its walls, definitively prove it belonged to the martyred Apostle of Jesus.The Church of the Twelve Holy Apostles is a 6th-century Roman Catholic parish and titular church and minor basilica in Rome, Italy, dedicated originally to St. James and St. Philip whose remains are kept here, and later to all Apostles.

Bartholomew

bartholomewFeast Day – August 24 (Western Christianity)
June 11 (Eastern Christianity)

Bartholomew was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. He has been identified with Nathanael who appears in the Gospel according to John as being introduced to Christ by Philip. Two ancient testimonies exist about the mission of Saint Bartholomew in India. These are of Eusebius of Caesarea (early 4th century) and of Saint Jerome (late 4th century). Both of these refer to this tradition while speaking of the reported visit of Pantaenus to India in the 2nd century. Along with his fellow apostle Jude Thaddeus, Bartholomew is reputed to have brought Christianity to Armenia in the 1st century. Thus, both saints are considered the patron saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church. 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.

Burial Location

The 6th-century writer in Constantinople, Theodorus Lector, averred that in about 507 Emperor Anastasius gave the body of Bartholomew to the city of Dura-Europos, which he had recently re-founded. The existence of relics at Lipari, a small island off the coast of Sicily, in the part of Italy controlled from Constantinople, was explained by Gregory of Tours by his body having miraculously washed up there: a large piece of his skin and many bones that were kept in the Cathedral of St Bartholomew the Apostle, Lipari, were translated to Benevento in 838, where they are still kept now in Basilica of San Bartolomeo. A small part of the relics was given in 983 by Holy Roman Emperor Otto II to Rome where it is conserved at the basilica of San Bartolomeo all’Isola. In time, the church there inherited an old pagan medical centre. This association with medicine in course of time caused Bartholomew’s name to become associated with medicine and hospitals. Some of Bartholomew’s alleged skull was transferred to the Frankfurt Cathedral, while an arm was venerated in Canterbury Cathedral.

Thomas

st_thomasFeast Day – July 3rd

Thomas the Apostle was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, according to the New Testament. He is informally called doubting Thomas because he doubted Jesus’ resurrection when first told (in the Gospel of John account only), followed later by his confession of faith, “My Lord and my God”, on seeing Jesus’ wounded body. Traditional legend written centuries later claims he travelled outside the Roman Empire to preach the Gospel, travelling as far as Tamil Nadu and Kerala in present-day India. According to undocumented traditions, the Apostle reached Muziris, (modern-day North Paravur and Kodungalloor in the state of Kerala, India) in AD 52 and baptized several people, founding what today are known as Saint Thomas Christians or Nasranis.

Burial Location

San Thome Basilica is a Roman Catholic (Latin Rite) minor basilica in Santhome, in the city of Chennai (Madras), India. It was built in the 16th century by Portuguese explorers, over the tomb of St Thomas, an apostle of Jesus. In 1893, it was rebuilt as a church with the status of a cathedral by the British. The Basilica of St. Thomas the Apostle, also Ortona Cathedral (Italian: Basilica-Concattedrale di San Tommaso Apostolo; Duomo d’Ortona) is a Roman Catholic cathedral and minor basilica in Ortona, Abruzzo, Italy, famous for holding the relics of Saint Thomas the Apostle. It was formerly also the episcopal seat of the diocese of Ortona and is now a co-cathedral in the diocese of Lanciano-Ortona.

Matthew

matthewFeast Day – 21 September (Western Christianity)
22nd October (Coptic Orthodox)
16 November (Eastern Christianity)

Matthew the Apostle was, according to the Christian Bible, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and, according to Christian tradition, one of the four Evangelists. Matthew was a 1st-century Galilean (presumably born in Galilee, which was not part of Judea or the Roman Iudaea province), the son of Alpheus. As a tax collector he would have been literate in Aramaic and Greek. His fellow Jews would have despised him for what was seen as collaborating with the Roman occupation force. After his call, Matthew invited Jesus home for a feast. On seeing this, the Scribes and the Pharisees criticized Jesus for eating with tax collectors and sinners. This prompted Jesus to answer, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” he New Testament records that as a disciple, he followed Jesus, and was one of the witnesses of the Resurrection and the Ascension of Jesus. According to legend, the former tax collector turned missionary was martyred in Ethiopia, where he was supposedly stabbed in the back by an swordsman sent by King Hertacus, after he criticized the king’s morals.

Burial Location

Salerno Cathedral (or duomo) is the main church in the city of Salerno in southern Italy and a major tourist attraction. It is dedicated to Saint Matthew, whose relics are inside the crypt. The Cathedral was built when the city was the capital of the Principality of Salerno.

James

(c) National Trust, Basildon Park; Supplied by The Public Catalogue FoundationFeast Day – 1 May (Anglican Communion),
May 3 (Roman Catholic Church),
9 October (Eastern Orthodox Church)

James, son of Alphaeus was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, appearing under this name in all three of the Synoptic Gospels’ lists of the apostles. He is often identified with James the Less and commonly known by that name in church tradition. Since there was already another James (James, son of Zebedee) among the twelve apostles, equating James son of Alphaeus with “James the Less” made sense. (James son of Zebedee was sometimes called “James the Greater”). 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.

Burial Location

The Church of the Twelve Holy Apostles  is a 6th-century Roman Catholic parish and titular church and minor basilica in Rome, Italy, dedicated originally to St. James and St. Philip whose remains are kept here, and later to all Apostles.

Thaddaeus

thaddeusFeast Day – October 28 (Western Christianity)
June 19 (Eastern Christianity)

Jude, also known as Judas Thaddaeus, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. He is generally identified with Thaddeus, and is also variously called Jude of James, Jude Thaddaeus, Judas Thaddaeus or Lebbaeus. He is sometimes identified with Jude, the brother of Jesus, but is clearly distinguished from Judas Iscariot, the apostle who betrayed Jesus prior to his crucifixion. Judas Thaddaeus became known as Jude after early translators of the New Testament from Greek into English sought to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot and subsequently abbreviated his forename. The Armenian Apostolic Church honors Thaddeus along with Saint Bartholomew as its patron saints. In the Roman Catholic Church, he is the patron saint of desperate cases and lost causes. Saint Jude’s attribute is a club. He is also often shown in icons with a flame around his head. This represents his presence at Pentecost, when he received the Holy Spirit with the other apostles. Another common attribute is Jude holding an image of Jesus Christ, in the Image of Edessa. In some instances, he may be shown with a scroll or a book (the Epistle of Jude) or holding a carpenter’s rule. Tradition holds that Saint Jude preached the Gospel in Judea, Samaria, Idumaea, Syria, Mesopotamia and Libya. He is also said to have visited Beirut and Edessa.

Burial Location

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. Sometime after his death, Saint Jude’s body was brought from Beirut to Rome and placed in a crypt in St. Peter’s Basilica which was visited by many devotees. Now his bones are in the left transept of St. Peter’s Basilica under the main altar of St. Joseph in one tomb with the remains of the apostle Simon the Zealot.

 Simon Peter

st-peterFeast Day – June 29th

Saint Peter also known as Simon Peter, Simeon, or Sim?n, according to the New Testament, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, leaders of the early Christian Church. He is also the “Apostle of the Apostles”. The New Testament indicates that Peter was the son of John (or Jonah or Jona) and was from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee or Gaulanitis. His brother Andrew was also an apostle. According to New Testament accounts, Peter was one of twelve apostles chosen by Jesus from his first disciples. Originally a fisherman, he played a leadership role and was with Jesus during events witnessed by only a few apostles, such as the supposed Transfiguration. According to the gospels, Peter confessed Jesus as the Messiah, was part of Jesus’s inner circle, thrice denied Jesus and wept bitterly once he realised his deed, and preached on the day of Pentecost.

At the beginning of the Last Supper, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. Peter initially refused to let Jesus wash his feet, but when Jesus responded: “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me”, Peter replied: “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head”.[Jn. 13:2-11] The washing of feet is often repeated in the service of worship on Maundy Thursday by some Christian denominations. The three Synoptic Gospels all mention that, when Jesus was arrested, one of his companions cut off the ear of a servant of the High Priest. The Gospel of John also includes this event and names Peter as the swordsman and Malchus as the victim.[Jn. 18:10] Luke adds that Jesus touched the ear and miraculously healed it.[Lk. 22:49-51] This healing of the servant’s ear is the last of the 37 miracles attributed to Jesus in the Bible.

Burial Location

Margherita Guarducci, who led the research leading to the rediscovery of Peter’s reputed tomb in its last stages (1963–1968), concludes Peter died on 13 October AD 64 during the festivities on the occasion of the “dies imperii” of Emperor Nero. This took place three months after the disastrous fire that destroyed Rome for which the emperor (Nero) wished to blame the Christians. This “dies imperii” (regnal day anniversary) was an important one, exactly ten years after Nero ascended to the throne, and it was ‘as usual’ accompanied by much bloodshed. Traditionally, Roman authorities sentenced him to death by crucifixion. According to the apocryphal Acts of Peter, he was crucified head down. Tradition also locates his burial place where the Basilica of Saint Peter was later built, directly beneath the Basilica’s high altar.

Judas Iscariot

judas-iscariotJudas Iscariot (died c. 30–33 AD) was, according to the New Testament, one of the twelve original disciples of Jesus Christ, and son of Simon Iscariot (only mentioned in John 6:71 and John 13:26). He is known for the kiss and betrayal of Jesus to the Sanhedrin for thirty silver coins. His name is often used synonymously with betrayal or treason. Though there are varied accounts of his death, the traditional version sees him as having hanged himself following the betrayal, as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew. His place among the Twelve Apostles was later filled by Matthias. Despite his notorious role in the Gospel narratives, Judas remains a controversial figure in Christian history. Judas’s betrayal, for instance, is seen as setting in motion the events that led to Jesus’s Crucifixion and Resurrection, which, according to traditional Christian theology, brought salvation to mankind. Mark’s Gospel states that the chief priests were looking for a sly way to arrest Jesus. They decided not to do so during the feast [of the Passover], since they were afraid that people would riot; instead, they chose the night before the feast to arrest him. According to Luke’s account, Satan entered Judas at this time.

Burial Location

Akeldama, Hinnom Valley just outside of Jerusalem’s old city

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