By Christina Hermoso
Roman Catholics will observe tomorrow (May 3) the Feast of Saints Philip and James, two of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ.
In the country, the “Tumatarok” Festival will be held in the towns of Minalabac and Lagonoy in Camarines Sur in honor of their revered patron saints. Considered as one of the most colorful and much-anticipated festivities in the Bicol region, the highlight of the celebration is a fluvial procession of the venerated images of Saints Philip and James.
Considered as the “Foundation Stones of the Church,” pilgrims and devotees traditionally gather at the Church of the Holy Apostles in Rome, Italy where their sacred relics, which had been venerated as early as the year 563, rest next to each other.
St. Philip was one of Jesus’ first disciples. He became His follower after Jesus’ baptism at the Jordan River. St. James the Less or “the Younger” was the brother of St. Jude. He served as the first bishop of Jerusalem and authored one of the Catholic Epistles in the New Testament, the Letter of St. James. He was called “the just” on account of his holiness. Both were martyred for standing by their faith. Their names are mentioned in the first list in the Canon of the Mass.