When Jesus began his public ministry, He selected 12 men to accompany Him who would be his closest companions, distinct from the larger group of his disciples. These men are known as Apostles, sent on mission by Jesus to tell others about Him.

Jesus chose Simon (renamed Peter by Jesus) and his brother Andrew, James and John – the sons of Zebedee, Matthew, Philip, Bartholomew (Nathanael), Thomas, Simon the Zealot, James – the son of Alphaeus, Jude (Thaddaeus), and Judas Iscariot.

After Judas betrayed jesus and killed himself, Matthius was elevated as an Apostle because he had been with Jeus from the beginning of his public ministry.

After Jesus’ Resurrection, Paul, who intitially persecuted Christians, was called by Jesus and became the Apostle to the Gentiles.

Except for John, all of the Apostles were martyred. Their relics are venerated in Catholic Churches.

Today’s Catholic priests and bishops are successors to the Apostles who established the Catholic Church and are entrusted with the teachings that were handed down to them.

There were many disciples but a select group of Apostles:

Jesus chose 12 men to be his Apostles:

One man went from persecutor to Apostle:

He went up the mountain and summoned those whom He wanted and they came to Him. He appointed twelve [whom he also named Apostles] that they might be with Him and He might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons: [He appointed the twelve:] Simon, whom he named Peter; James, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder; Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus; Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.

Mark 3: 13-19

The Apostles responded to the call of Jesus:

“Therefore, Christ the Lord, in whom the entire Revelation of the Most High God is summed up, commanded the Apostles to preach the Gospel… and communicate the gifts of God to all men. This Gospel was to be the source of all saving truth and moral discipline.” The Council noted further that this was faithfully done “by the Apostles who handed on, by the spoken word of their preaching, by the example they gave, by the institutions they established, what they themselves had received — whether from the lips of Christ, from his way of life and his works, or whether they had learned it at the prompting of the Holy Spirit”

Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, May 3, 2006

The men who would be the foundation of the Catholic Church:

The Apostles were the first Catholic priests:

Jesus is the Father’s Emissary. From the beginning of his ministry, He “called to him those whom He desired; …. and He appointed twelve, whom also he named Apostles, to be with Him, and to be sent out to preach.” From then on, they would also be his “emissaries” (Greek apostoloi). In them, Christ continues his own mission: “As the Father has sent Me, even so I send you.” The Apostles’ ministry is the continuation of his mission; Jesus said to the Twelve: “he who receives you receives Me.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church 858

Today’s priests and bishops should imitate the Apostles:

Examples of complete faith, service, and obedience:

The Church venerates the remains of the Apostles:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

The best prayer in the whole world:

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