A fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm.

Three hundred years before the birth of the Lord Christ, there lived a mother who had twelve sons, but was so poor and needy that she no longer knew how she was to keep them alive. She prayed to God daily that he would grant that all her sons might be on the earth with the redeemer who was promised. When her necessity became still greater she sent one of them after the other out into the world to seek their bread. The eldest was called Peter, and he went out and had already walked a long way, a whole day's journey, when he came into a great forest. He sought for a way out, but could find none, and went farther and farther astray, and at the same time felt such great hunger that he could scarcely stand. At length he became so weak that he was forced to lie down, and he believed death to be at hand. Suddenly there stood beside him a small boy who shone with brightness, and was as beautiful and kind as an angel. The child smote his little hands together, until Peter was forced to look up and see him. Then the child said, "Why are you sitting there in such trouble?"
"Alas," answered Peter, "I am going about the world seeking bread, that I may yet see the dear saviour who is promised, that is my greatest desire."
The child said, "Come with me, and your wish shall be fulfilled." He took poor Peter by the hand, and led him between some cliffs to a great cavern. When they entered it, everything was shining with gold, silver and crystal, and in the midst of it twelve cradles were standing side by side. Then said the little angel, "Lie down in the first, and sleep a while, I will rock you." Peter did so, and the angel sang to him and rocked him until he was alseep. And when he was asleep, the second brother came also, guided thither by his guardian angel, and he was rocked to sleep like the first, and thus came the others, one after the other, until all twelve lay there sleeping in the golden cradles. They slept, however, three hundred years, until the night when the saviour of the world was born. Then they awoke, and were with him on earth, and were called the twelve apostles.

Quick, can you name ‘em?

Well, actually there were thirteen but we’ll but get to that later. The Twelve Apostles were among the first converts of Jesus Christ while he was tooling around the country spreading the “word”. I guess they sorta acted like his advisors and/or inner sanctum when the time called for it. After his (Jesus) demise, they spent the rest of their lives preaching and trying to convert the masses to Christianity. Some were more successful than others but for the most part, they all had one thing in common. With the exception of John the Theologian, they all died some pretty gruesome deaths.

Peter –traditional crucifixion wasn’t good enough for ol’ Pete, in order to make a point, he was crucified upside down

Andrew – I guess the powers that be were looking for new and creative ways to improve upon crucifixion, Andy was crucified on an “X” shaped cross

James, the son of Zebedee – bored with crucifixion I guess, Jimmy was simply beheaded

John, the Theologian – Johnny got lucky, it seems he died of natural causes

Philip – in an effort to capture some nostalgia, Philip suffered his fate in the conventional method of crucifixion .

Bartholomew – I fear Bart (D’Oh!) must of really pissed some folks off, he was crucified, flayed and beheaded.

Thomas – you know, the one who “doubted “Jesus, he met his end by being pierced by five spears

Matthew, the Evangelist – compared to Bart, I guess he got off “lucky”. He was burned by fire

James, the son of Alphaeus, he met the same fate as Philip, traditional crucifixion.

Thaddeus, (aka Jude and the brother of James, son of Alpaeus) – died the same way as his brother, traditional crucifixion

Simon, the Zealot – a simple crucifixion would suffice

Matthias – the so-called thirteenth apostle, I guess he might have been sorry he joined the team since he was named an apostle after Judas Iscariot took his own life. He was eventually stoned to death and for good measure, subsequently beheaded.

Judas Iscariot – one of the starting twelve, he was later booted off the team for betraying Jesus. I guess he couldn’t live with the shame of being cut or the guilt he felt for his betrayal. Whatever the reason, he took his own life by hanging.

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