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This is the account from Luke 6:12 - 6:16:
...He went out to a mountain to pray, and He passed the whole night in prayer to God.
When day came, He called His disciples to Himself,
A*pos"tle, n. Etym: [OE. apostle, apostel, postle, AS. apostol, L. apostolus, fr. Gr. stellen to set, E. stall: cf. F. apôtre, Of. apostre, apostle, apostele, apostole.]
1. Literally: One sent forth; a messenger. Specifically: One of the twelve disciples of Christ, specially chosen as His companions and witnesses, and sent forth to preach the gospel. He called unto Him His disciples, and of them He chose twelve, whom also He named apostles. Luke 6:13.
Note: The title of apostle is also applied to others, who, though not of the number of the Twelve, yet were equal with them in office and dignity; as, "Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 1:1. In Hebrews 3:1, the name is given to Christ Himself, as having been sent from heaven to publish the gospel. In the primitive church, other ministers were called apostles (Romans 16:7).
2. The missionary who first plants the Christian faith in any part of the world; also, one who initiates any great moral reform, or first advocates any important belief; one who has extraordinary success as a missionary or reformer; as, Dionysius of Corinth is called the apostle of France, John Eliot the apostle to the Indians, Theobald Mathew the apostle of temperance.
3. (Civ. & Admiralty Law)
Defn: A brief letter dimissory sent by a court appealed from to the superior court, stating the case, etc.; a paper sent up on appeals in the admiralty courts. Wharton. Burrill. Apostles' creed, a creed of unknown origin, which was formerly ascribed to the apostles. It certainly dates back to the beginning of the sixth century, and some assert that it can be found in the writings of Ambrose in the fourth century.
-- Apostle spoon (Antiq.), a spoon of silver, with the handle terminating in the figure of an apostle. One or more were offered by sponsors at baptism as a present to the godchild. B. Jonson.
- any of the original 12 disciples called by Jesus to preach the Gospel: Simon Peter, the brothers James and John, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alpheus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot, Judas Iscariot.
- Saint Paul of Tarsus.
---excerpt from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary
Apostle - A person sent by another; a messenger; envoy. This word is once used as a descriptive designation of Jesus Christ, the Sent of the Father (Hebrews 3:1; John 20:21). It is, however, generally used as designating the body of disciples to whom he entrusted the organization of his church and the dissemination of his gospel, "the twelve," as they are called (Matthew 10:1; Mark 3:14; Mark 6:7; Luke 6:13; Luke 9:1). We have four lists of the apostles, one by each of the synoptic evangelists (Matthew 10:2; Mark 3:16; Luke 6:14), and one in the Acts (Acts 1:13). No two of these lists, however, perfectly coincide. Our Lord gave them the "keys of the kingdom," and by the gift of his Spirit fitted them to be the founders and governors of his church (John 14:16 - 14:17, John 14:26; John 15:26 - 15:27; John 16:7). To them, as representing his church, he gave the commission to "preach the gospel to every creature" (Matthew 28:18). After his ascension he communicated to them, according to his promise, supernatural gifts to qualify them for the discharge of their duties (Acts 2:4; 1 Corinthians 2:16; 1 Corinthians 2:7, 1 Corinthians 2:10, 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Corinthians 5:20; 1 Corinthians 11:2). Judas Iscariot, one of "the twelve," fell by transgression, and Matthias was substituted in his place (Acts 1:21). Saul of Tarsus was afterwards added to their number (Acts 9:3-20; Acts 20:4; Acts 26:15; 1 Timothy 1:12; 1 Timothy 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:11). Luke has given some account of Peter, John, and the two Jameses (Acts 12:2, Acts 12:17; Acts 15:13; Acts 21:18), but beyond this we know nothing from authentic history of the rest of the original twelve. After the martyrdom of James the Greater (Acts 12:2), James the Less usually resided at Jerusalem, while Paul, "the apostle of the uncircumcision," usually traveled as a missionary among the Gentiles (Galatians 2:8). It was characteristic of the apostles and necessary
(1.) that they should have seen the Lord, and been able to testify of him and of his resurrection from personal knowledge (John 15:27; Acts 1:21, Acts 1:22; 1 Corinthians 9:1; Acts 22:14, Acts 22:15).
(2.) They must have been immediately called to that office by Christ (Luke 6:13; Galatians 1:1).
(3.) It was essential that they should be infallibly inspired, and thus secured against all error and mistake in their public teaching, whether by word or by writing (John 14:26; John 16:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:13).
(4.) Another qualification was the power of working miracles (Mark 16:20; Acts 2:43; 1 Corinthians 12:8). The apostles therefore could have had no successors. They are the only authoritative teachers of the Christian doctrines. The office of an apostle ceased with its first holders. In 2 Corinthians 8:23 and Philippians 2:25 the word "messenger" is the rendering of the same Greek word, elsewhere rendered "apostle."
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