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RECAP. What does the word disciple mean ? How is apostle different ?. Watch the video again. Write down the names of the disciples that Jesus chooses. Can you think of a mnemonic to help you remember all 12 names?. Who Were the Apostles ?.

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  • What does the word disciple mean?
  • How is apostle different ?
Watch the video again. Write down the names of the disciples that Jesus chooses.

Can you think of a mnemonic to help you remember all 12 names?

Who Were the Apostles ?

Which disciple would you like to know more about and why ?


Research one disciple.

Write up 2 paragraphs:

About who they were

What they said/ did with Jesus

  • To describe in brief the characters of the 12 disciples
  • To understand that the disciples had faults and failings
  • To explain why Jesus chose such ordinary people
pair activity
PAIR Activity
  • In pairs, split the apostles so you have 6 each
  • For each apostle write down a summary of the information about them.
  • Go around the room completing your table for your 3
  • Copy up the other info from your partner.

BAP x2T x2J x4SM

B artholomewA ndrewP eter, P hilipT homas, T haddeusJ ohn, J ames, J ames, J udasS imonM atthew

  • ***Think of a mnemonic – a way of remembering the names of the 12 apostles.

Finish your title page



Which disciples were fishermen?

Name 2 sets of brothers

Who was a tax collector when Jesus called him?

Which disciple brought another to Jesus?

Which “beloved” disciple was asked by Jesus to look after his mother?

Who doubted Jesus had really risen from the dead?

Who was described by Jesus as “without deceit” ?

Whose name means “the rock” and was made leader of the Apostles?

Who was enthusiastic about keeping the Jewish law?

Whose symbol is a basket?

Who was crucified upside down?

Who is the Patron Saint of hopeless causes?

st peter
St. Peter

Peter and his brother Andrew were fishermen. Jesus saw them by their boats, and said to them “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men”.

  • Jesus made St Peter leader of the apostles.
  • Peter’s name means “rock” in Aramaic. Jesus said to him “On this “rock” I will build my Church”.
  • Peter was part of Jesus' inner circle, together with James and John and witnessed the transfiguration and Jesus’ agony in the garden. He walked on water, denied Jesus three times after Jesus’ arrest, and was the first to preach at Pentecost
  • Peter is said to have been crucified under Emperor Nero, the cross being upside down at his own request since he saw himself unworthy to be crucified in the same way as Jesus Christ. His remains are in the tomb under St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

His apostolic symbol is a cross upside down with crossed keys. The keys represent Peter as holder of the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.

st andrew

St. Andrew

Since he was crucified on an X-shaped cross (which is called "Saint Andrew's cross) it is one of his symbols. A symbol of two crossed fish has also been applied to Andrew, because he was formerly a fisherman.

Andrew was a brother of the apostle Peter.

He was a follower of John the Baptist, before he met Jesus.

He was mending his nets with his brother Peter. Jesus saw them both and said to them “follow me”.

Andrew immediately recognized Jesus as the Messiah. He was later chosen by Jesus to be one of His Twelve Apostles.

Andrew was present at all the important moments of Jesus’ life.

st james son of zebedee
St. James , son of Zebedee

James was the brother of John, both were fishermen and sons of Zebedee, also called “the sons of thunder”, possibly because of their strong temper.

Together with Peter, James and John were the only 3 disciples who saw Jesus transfigured, and were closest to him in the Garden of Gethsemane, during his agony in the garden.

His symbol is three shells, the sign of his pilgrimage by the sea.

st john son of zebedee
St. John, son of Zebedee

John, like his brother James, was a fisherman when Jesus saw them, and said to them “Follow me”.

John was one of Jesus’ inner circle of three disciples who witnessed Jesus’ transfiguration and his agony in the garden before his arrest and crucifixion.

John was very close to Jesus, and called himself “the beloved disciple”. He was the one leaning on Jesus breast at the Last Supper.

Jesus asked John to look after his mother Mary when He was dying on the cross, After Mary was taken up into heaven John lived to a very old age and died peacefully.

It is said that an attempt was made on John’s life by giving him a chalice of poison, but he survived.

A chalice with a snake in it is his symbol.

st philip
St. Philip

Philip was from the same town as Peter and Andrew.

He was called by Jesus Himself. Philip then brought Bartholomew to Christ.

Philip was present at the miracle of the loaves and fishes. Jesus tested him, asking how He would feed 5000 people with only 2 loaves and 5 fishes. Several of his conversations with Jesus are written in the gospels.

Philip was a link for Greek speaking, open-minded Jews who wanted to know more about Jesus. They would approach Philip for an introduction to Jesus.

The symbol of Philip is a basket, because of his part in the feeding of the five thousand.

It was Philip who popularised the cross as a sign of Christianity and victory.

st bartholomew

St. Bartholomew

Because he was flayed alive with knives his apostolic symbol is three parallel knives.

Also known as Nathaniel.

He was brought to Jesus by Philip. Jesus praised him, saying “here is a man incapable of deceit”.

He died a violent death for converting the King of Armenia’s brother to belief in Jesus.

His skin was removed (=flayed alive), and then he was crucified, head downward.

st matthew
St. Matthew

The apostolic symbol of Matthew is three money bags which remind us that he was a tax collector before Jesus called him.

Matthew collected taxes from the Jewish people. He was very unpopular. Jesus saw him sitting in the customs house, and called him to follow him.

After his call, Matthew invited Jesus and his tax-collector friends home for a feast. On seeing this, the Scribes and the Pharisees criticized Jesus for eating with tax collectors and sinners. Jesus answered “I came not to call good people, but sinners”

st thomas
St. Thomas

St. Thomas, also called “Doubting Thomas” is remembered for his disbelieving that Jesus rose from the dead. He insisted that unless he could see and touch Christ's wounds, he would not believe.

Jesus appeared to him and showed him his wounds and told him to feel them.

St Thomas exclaimed “My Lord and My God”, and believed. Jesus answered: “happy are those who have not seen, and yet believe”.

He was killed with a spear for his Lord. His symbol is a group of spears, stones and arrows.

st simon
St. Simon

St Simon is also called “Simon the zealot” because of his enthusiasm for keeping God’s law.

His is sometimes shown with a saw, as it is said he was put to death by sawing.

His symbol is a fish on a bible, because he used to be a fisherman, but through his preaching, became a “fisher of men”

st jude or thaddeus
St. Jude, or Thaddeus

Jude, also known as Thaddeus, used to be a fisherman before Jesus called him.

He is the patron saint of desperate situations because he wrote a letter which is in the New Testament (The Letter of Jude), where he tells us to keep going, even when things are very difficult, and never lose hope.

The chosen symbol for Jude is the ship because he was a missionary and used to be a fisherman.

st james the lesser
St. James the Lesser

Another James, not related to James and John sons of Zebedee.

He may have been a tax collector. He is rarely mentioned in the gospels. He witnessed the resurrected Jesus.

He was crucified in Egypt, where he was preaching the gospel.

judas iscariot
Judas Iscariot

He was one of the twelve apostles. His role was to look after the money of the disciples and buy provisions when needed. He is infamous for betraying Jesus to the chief priests, for 30 pieces of silver. He betrayed Jesus with a kiss, in the garden of Gethsemane.

Jesus said of him at the Last Supper “better for that man if he had never been born”.

He later hanged himself.