‘About that time King Herod laid hands upon some members of the church to harm them. He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword.’– Acts 12:1-2
How did the apostles die?
Tradition says that the apostles were martyred for their faith. Except for St. John. Despite attempts to poison him and immerse him in boiling oil, John died of old age.The cause of death for the other apostles was reported by witnesses or is the result of legends that have developed over the years:
James the Greater was the first apostle to be killed, and his is the only death of an apostle described in the New Testament. Legend adds that James’ body was placed in a boat and set adrift, and it came ashore in Spain. Peter was crucified in Rome. Andrew was crucified in Greece in the year 70. A tradition originated in the Middle Ages that he wished to be crucified on an X-shaped cross. Philip was martyred in Phrygia (an area that today is part of Turkey). Bartholomew/Nathanael was flayed alive in Armenia. Matthew was beheaded in Ethiopia. The historian Josephus says James the Lesser was stoned to death in Jerusalem. Jude (Thaddeus) was martyred in Armenia. Thomas was stabbed by a spear in India. Simon was sawed into pieces in Persia. Matthias was martyred in Turkey or in Jerusalem.