The Kinship of Saint Francis - 689 

Blessed James was the first of the Apostles to celebrate Mass.

Sylvester, likewise, was "the first priest to enter the Order."a James was also called a brother of the Lord because of his extraordi-

nary holiness and his resemblance to Christ. Brother Sylvester was so holy that he spoke with Christ face to face as if he were a brother of the Lord. For God would always reveal to him what he asked to be revealed to him. Aware of this, whenever Saint Francis wanted to know the Lord's will, he would send to Brother Sylvester and it would immediately be revealed to him.b


[Saint Philip] [Philip the Tall]


6g The seventh companion of Saint Francis was Brother Philip the Tall who was very much like the apostle Philip not only in name, but also in deed and in activity. Philip has been interpreted as os lampadis [the mouth of a lamp].c For when the blessed apostle Philip was told by the Lord Jesus about the mysteries of the Trinity he would pour out sweet words to the people, symbolized by the oil, words that were also very clear, as in Syria he extinguished the heresy of the Ebionites through his preaching. In a similar way, Brother Philip the Tall was the sweetest preacher of all of Francis's companions, as the Life of Saint Clare describes him: "Brother Philip," it says, "was present, one who used to pour forth the Lord's fervent and honey-flowing words."d

Or he is called Philip from philos, that is "love," and iper, that is "above," as if he were a lover of things from above.e In every way, he was a lover of those who were above. Because of this the Apostle Philip said to Christ: Lord, show us the Father and that is enough for us. Brother Philip was touched by an angel on the lips with a burning coal, as Isaiah once was, and it set him on fire, and he resounded with fiery words.

Philip is said to have had two virgin daughters through whom the Lord converted many persons to God. Likewise Brother Philip in




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 689