Responsorial: Psalm 19:2-3, 4-5
Gospel: Luke 6:12-19
Very little is known about these two apostles. Simon is called a Zealot and is thus thought of as being a member of that party, but where they lived or died we do not know.
In the gospel for the feast, Luke places their names at number 10 and 11 in the list of apostles, just before Judas Iscariot (who became a traitor). In the tradition of that time, the placing of names was important and reflected the relative importance of the person. However, the first reading of the day, from Ephesians 2, reminds us that we are part of the new Jerusalem which has the apostles as its foundations and Jesus himself as the cornerstone.
The reason this feast is held is to remind us of the wonderful tradition of our faith, and even though the detail of their lives may be lost, these men still played an important part in the founding of the Church. This tradition is important because it lets us understand the richness and fullness of our faith. It is not a new "fad" but a long standing mature religion which has no equal.