Since the sixth century, we Franciscan Friars Conventual have been the caretakers of the tombs of the two Apostles, Philip and James, at our General Curia, in the Basilica dei Santi XII Apostoli – Roma (Basilica of the Twelve Apostles). The remains had not left the crypt below the main altar since 1879. In 2016, the Vatican gave our Order permission to have the tombs opened for the first time in centuries. Among the items inside were discovered the foot of St. Philip and the femur of St. James. Forensic scientists detected in St. Philip’s foot – the hole made by the nail that crucified him, and in St. James’ femur – several fractures made by his having been hurled to the ground from the temple. The April 30, 2019 AM Buffalo news video below refers to St. Philip’s foot as having walked in the footsteps of Jesus, and having been washed by the Lord.
Through the efforts of Our Lady of the Angels Province friar, Fr. Alex Cymerman, OFM Conv., who celebrates his Name’s Day today, St. Philip the Apostle Parish (a parish he frequents when visiting the Buffalo area) now possesses a relic of St. Philip the Apostle, from the tombs of the Apostles Philip and James, at our Order’s Curia.
The May 4, 2016 Rome Reports news video below explains the 2016 opening of the tombs.