Patrick (Green House)
As a boy of fourteen or so, he was captured during a raiding party and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep. Ireland at this time was a land of Druids and pagans. He learned the language and practices of the people who held him.
During his captivity, he turned to God in prayer. He wrote "The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was roused, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same."
Patrick was a humble, pious, gentle man, whose love and total devotion to and trust in God should be a shining example to each of us. He feared nothing, not even death, so complete was his trust in God, and of the importance of his mission.
Feast Day: March 17
Peter (Yellow House)
Simon Peter, the first pope, Prince of the Apostles, and founder, with St. Paul, of the see of Rome. Peter was a native of Bethsaida, and worked, like his brother St. Andrew, as a fisherman on Lake Genesareth. Andrew introduced Peter to Jesus (John 1:40-42). Peter acknowledged him as '… the Messiah, the son of the living God'. Christ responded by saying: '… you are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church.... He added: 'I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven …' (Matthew 16:16-19).
According to the Church historians, Peter was crucified on the Vatican Hill upside down because he declared himself unworthy to die in the same manner as the Lord.
Feast Day: June 29
James (Red House)
James and John were sons of Zebedee. They were fishermen and hot-tempered. Jesus called them 'Sons of Thunder' (Mark 3:17). When they were on their way to Jerusalem for the last time, they passed by a Samaritan village. The villagers did not receive them. James and John were so furious that they wanted to bid fire from heaven and consume them (Luke 9:54). Jesus stopped them.
James was among the three special apostles who took part in several important occasions in Jesus' life: the raising of Jairus' daughter (Mark 5:37), Transfiguration (Mark 9:2) and Agony in Gethsemani (Mark 14:33).
James was the first apostle to die for Jesus. In around 42 AD, King Herod Agrippa I killed James with the sword (Acts 12:2).
Feast Day: July 25
John (Blue House)
Known as the "Beloved disciple of Jesus", John stood faithfully at the cross when the Saviour made him the guardian of His Mother (John 19:27). His later life was passed chiefly in Jerusalem (Acts 3-15) and at Ephesus. He founded many churches in Asia Minor (Revelation 1:11). He wrote the fourth Gospel, and three Epistles, and the Book of Revelation is also attributed to him. He lived to an old age and was exempted from martyrdom.
Feast Day: December 27