Archbishop of Hyderabad To all those who would choose to be solicitous about their eternal salvation which God’s only-begotten Son has revealed to all human beings through His bodily resurrection from the dead in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit, given to us by Him through His priestly sacraments, proclaims ‘Blessed is the man who meditates on the Law of the Lord day and night. He is like a tree that is planted beside flowing waters that bears fruit in due season and whose leaves never dry (Ps.1:1).’ What is this Law of the Lord? It is the set of the Lord God’s Ten commandments and His precepts to practice love of God , of oneself and of one’s neighbor, given by the Lord God through Moses but explained to us by His Beloved Son Jesus Christ in His ‘sermon on the Mount,’ not only to protect our personal lives in the new and eternal covenant from the Devil’s power of Sin at work in our psychological selves but also enable us to grow in the favour of His Eternal Father day in and day out, through an ever growing three-fold obedience of faith to Him unto death, in order to be declared worthy of eternal life at the judgment seat of Christ. The ministry of the word in His Holy Catholic Church consists in helping the baptized to meditate on and practice this Law of the Lord as explained by our Lord Jesus Christ through one’s own meditation on it and practice of it in the power of the Holy Spirit, in order to ensure one’s own salvation and that of others in His Holy Church: ‘He who keeps the least of these commandments and teaches others to do likewise is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (Mt.5:19b). This is the good news of the Son our Lord Jesus Christ to all people of good will.

ST. THOMAS THE APOSTLE

St. Thomas was born a Jew and was called to be one of the twelve Apostles. His birth and death dates are unknown, but his feast day is celebrated July 3. He lived before the formal establishment of the Catholic Church but is recognized as the Patron Saint of architects.

He was a dedicated but impetuous follower of Christ. When Jesus said He was returning to Judea to visit His sick friend Lazarus, Thomas immediately exhorted the other Apostles to accompany Him on the trip which involved certain danger and possible death because of the mounting hostility of the authorities.

At the Last Supper, when Christ told His disciples that He was going to prepare a place for them to which they also might come because they knew both the place and the way, Thomas pleaded that they did not understand and received the beautiful assurance that Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

St. Thomas is best known for his role in verifying the Resurrection of his Master. Thomas' unwillingness to believe that the other Apostles had seen their risen Lord on the first Easter Sunday earned him the title of "doubting Thomas."

Eight days later, on Christ's second apparition, Thomas was gently rebuked for his skepticism and furnished with the evidence he had demanded - seeing in Christ's hands the point of the nails. Thomas even put his fingers in the nail holes and his hand into Christ's side. After verifying the wounds were true, St. Thomas became convinced of the reality of the Resurrection and exclaimed, "My Lord and My God," thus making a public Profession of Faith in the Divinity of Jesus.

ST. JAMES THE APOSTLE

Nothing is known of St. James the Greater's early life, though it has been established that he is the son of Zebedee and Salome and brother of John the Apostle.

The title "the Greater" was added to St. James' name to help distinguish him from the Apostle James "the Less," who is believed to have been shorter than James "the Greater."

Saint James the Greater was one of Jesus' first disciples. James was fishing with his father and John the Apostle when Jesus came to the shores of the Sea of Galilee and called for the fisherman, who were unable to catch any fish that day, to dip their nets in the water once again.

When the fishermen followed Jesus' instructions, they found their nets full, and after emptying the fish on board, the boats nearly sank from their weight.

Later, James was one of only three called by Jesus to witness his Transfiguration, and when he and his brother wanted to call fire upon a Samaritan town, both were rebuked by Jesus.

Following Christ's Ascension, James spread the Gospel across Israel and the Roman kingdom as well. He traveled and spread the Word for nearly forty years in Spain.

It is said that one day, as he prayed, The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to him and asked him to build her a church, which he did.

Later, James returned to Jerusalem but was martyred for his faith by King Herod, who decapitated him. Saint James the Greater is known as the first Apostle to die.

As he was not allowed to be buried following his martyrdom, his remains were taken to Compostela, Spain, by some of his followers, who buried him.

In the ninth century his remains were discovered and moved to a tomb in Santiago de Compostela. Today, his remains can still be found in the Cathedral of Santiago.

Because Santiago de Compostela is the most frequently visited place pilgrims migrate to following Rome and Jerusalem, Pope Leo declared it a Shrine.

St. James the Greater Prayer

O glorious Apostle,
St. James, who by reason of thy fervent and generous heart
wast chosen by Jesus to be a witness of His glory on Mount Tabor, and of His agony in Gethsemane;
thou, whose very name is a symbol of warfare and victory:
obtain for us strength and consolation in the unending warfare of this life,
that, having constantly and generously followed Jesus,
we may be victors in the strife and deserve to receive the victor's crown in heaven.
Amen.