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May 3

The month of Mary: A Marian Month

Saint of the day:
Saint Philip and Saint James, apostles

Patron Saint of Pastry Chefs (Philip)

Saints Philip and James’ Story

James, Son of Alphaeus: We know nothing of this man except his name, and, of course, the fact that Jesus chose him to be one of the 12 pillars of the New Israel, his Church. He is not the James of Acts, son of Clopas, “brother” of Jesus and later bishop of Jerusalem and the traditional author of the Letter of James. James, son of Alphaeus, is also known as James the Lesser to avoid confusing him with James the son of Zebedee, also an apostle and known as James the Greater.


Philip came from the same town as Peter and Andrew, Bethsaida in Galilee. Jesus called him directly, whereupon he sought out Nathanael and told him of the “one about whom Moses wrote” (John 1:45).

Like the other apostles, Philip took a long time coming to realize who Jesus was. On one occasion, when Jesus saw the great multitude following him and wanted to give them food, he asked Philip where they should buy bread for the people to eat. Saint John comments, “[Jesus] said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do” (John 6:6). Philip answered, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little [bit]” (John 6:7).

John’s story is not a put-down of Philip. It was simply necessary for these men who were to be the foundation stones of the Church to see the clear distinction between humanity’s total helplessness apart from God and the human ability to be a bearer of divine power by God’s gift.

On another occasion, we can almost hear the exasperation in Jesus’s voice. After Thomas had complained that they did not know where Jesus was going, Jesus said, “I am the way…If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him” (John 14:6a, 7). Then Philip said, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us” (John 14:8). Enough! Jesus answered, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9a).

Possibly because Philip bore a Greek name or because he was thought to be close to Jesus, some gentile proselytes came to him and asked him to introduce them to Jesus. Philip went to Andrew, and Andrew went to Jesus. Jesus’s reply in John’s Gospel is indirect; Jesus says that now his “hour” has come, that in a short time he will give his life for Jew and gentile alike.


O God,

who gladden us each year with the feast day of the Apostles Philip and James,

grant us, through their prayers,

a share in the Passion and Resurrection of your Only Begotten Son, so that we may merit to behold you for eternity.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.



Santi Apostoli (Holy Apostles)

Piazza dei Santi Apostoli 51

Rome, Italy

*This church is just east of Piazza Venezia.

*Relics of St Philip and St James the Less rest within the confessio of this church.

During the 6th century they were transferred from Constantinople to Rome by Pope Pelagius I (d. 561).

In 1873, as excavations commenced below the central altar, their relics were unearthed.

They were then carefully examined and repositioned within the confessio where they rest today.

*Also the painting above the main altar depicts the martyrdom of St Philip and St James the Less.

It was completed by Domenico Maria Muratori in the early 18th century.


St James Cathedral

Armenian Quarter

91190 Jerusalem, Israel

*St James the Less is purportedly buried next to his reputed throne on the left side of the main sanctuary.

This is the large chair below the onion-shaped baldacchino.

*The head of St James the Greater is said to rest under a small circular piece of red marble located

within the third chapel on the left side of the nave. This chapel is also said to mark the location of his martyrdom.

*Access to this church is limited. It is generally open for only forty minutes during the Vigil service at the 3pm hour.


Tomb of the Sons of Hezir

Kidron Valley

Jerusalem, Israel

*This tomb was traditionally attributed to St James the Less.

However, recent scholarship concludes that is was constructed

to honor of a Jewish priestly family in the 2nd century BC.

Saint Philip or San Filep
Patron Saint of Pastry Chefs 

On the Maltese Islands, the Bells will Ring!

The Love of Mary!

The Bells!

This recipe is a lot like a puff pastry dough stuffed with ricotta cheese, peas, or pork....

Maltese Pork and Pea Pastizzi


  • 1 kgboneless pork shoulder, skin scored at 3 cm intervals

  • 150 gfrozen peas

  • ¼ cupdried mint 

  • 100 gflaked almonds, toasted 

Spice paste

  • 10whole cloves

  • 3star anise

  • 2cinnamon sticks

  • 250 ml(1 cup) soy sauce

  • 60 ml(¼ cup) fish sauce

  • 55 g(¼ cup) brown sugar

  • 2 tbspsabaht baharat (Lebanese seven spice) (see note)

  • 1 tbspminced garlic

Pastizzi pastry

  • 1 kg plain flour

  • 2 tbsp salt 

  • 650 ml(3 cups) ice-cold water 

  • 100 gunsalted butter, softened

Mustard mayo

  • 150 g Kewpie mayonnaise 

  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard

  • 2 tsp honey


Marinating time 12 hours
Resting time 1 hour
You will need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead.

  1. To make the spice paste, combine the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Rub the spice paste all over the pork, cover and marinate in the fridge overnight.

  2. To cook the pork, preheat the oven to 160°C. Place the pork and marinade in a flameproof casserole dish, cover with water and cover with a lid. Cook in the oven for 4–5 hours or until the pork is tender and falling apart. Remove the pork from the liquid and allow to cool. Strain braising liquid through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Place the saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Cook for 30–40 minutes, until reduced to a glaze consistency.

  3. When the pork is cool enough to handle, shred using your hands. Add the reduced sauce, peas, dried mint and almonds to the pork and season to taste. Mix well to combine, then place in the fridge until chilled.

  4. To make the dough, combine the flour, salt and water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on medium speed for 6–8 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. (You can also knead the dough by hand.) Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover with a tea towel and rest for 30 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, to make the mustard mayo, combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and season to taste. Transfer the mayo to a squeeze bottle. Refrigerate until required.

  6. Stretch the dough out into a long oval shape, then use a rolling pin to roll out until 5 mm thick. Smear the surface liberally with 100 g of the softened butter. Starting from one end, roll up dough, lifting and pulling the dough tight every few turns, until you have a thick log. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes, until chilled.

  7. Take the dough out of the fridge and bring to room temperature before proceeding. In one swift motion, lift the log off the bench, stretch it out and allow it to drop back onto the bench. Gently work the dough, stretching it out until about 1.5 m – 1.6 m long. Lightly smear with butter then cut into pieces about 4 cm thick.

  8. To make the pastizzi, hold a portion of the pastry in one hand. Using your thumbs to make a small pocket, stretch and flatten around the edges of the dough until it resembles a small shallow bowl. Place a generous tablespoon of pork and pea filling inside. Fold to make a semi circle, holding opposite ends of the dough. In one swift motion, stretch and twist the ends in opposite directions so that dough elongates and the middle opens up. As you do this, allow the pastizzi to drop onto the benchtop. Flatten the ends by pressing down onto the benchtop, then transfer to an oven tray lined with baking paper. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

  9. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Cook the pastizzi for 12–15 minutes or until golden. Serve with mustard mayonnaise.

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