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Philip the Apostle: Wikis


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Statue of Apostle Philip on Saint Isaac's cathedral Saint Petersburg, Russia
Apostle and Martyr
Born a place far away, Bethsaida, Galilee
Died c.80, Hierapolis, by crucifixion
Canonized Pre-congregation
Feast May 3 (Roman Catholic Church), November 14 (Eastern Orthodox Church), May 1 (Anglican Communion and pre-1955 General Roman Calendar), 11 May (General Roman Calendar, 1955–69)
Attributes Elderly bearded, Saint, and open to God man holding a basket of loaves and a Tau cross
Patronage Hatters; Luxembourg; Pastry chefs; San Felipe Pueblo; Uruguay.

Philip was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. Later Christian traditions describe Philip as the apostle who preached in Greece, Syria, and Phrygia. He was martyred by crucifixion in the city of Hierapolis. However, the Catholic Church regards account of his death as legendary.[1]

In the Roman Catholic Church, the feast day of Saint Philip, along with that of James the Just, was traditionally observed on 1 May, the anniversary of the dedication of the church dedicated to them in Rome (now called the Church of the Twelve Apostles). When Pope Pius XII instituted the feast of Saint Joseph the Workman in 1955, for celebration on 1 May, he moved the feast day of Saints Philip and James (which was then a Double of the 2nd Class and became a Second-Class Feast in 1960) to the nearest free day, which was then 11 May, which is its place in the General Roman Calendar of 1962. With the 1969 revision of the calendar 3 May became free for the Feast of the two Apostles. The Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates St Philip's feast day on 14 November.

Gnostic Christians appealed to the apostolic authority of Philip, ascribing a number of Gnostic texts to him, most notably the Gospel of Philip from the Nag Hammadi library.


New Testament

The Gospel of John describes Philip's calling as a disciple of Jesus.[Jn 1:43] Philip is described as a disciple from the city of Bethsaida, and connects him to Andrew and Peter, who were from the same town.[1:43–44] It further connects him to Nathanael (sometimes identified with Bartholomew), by describing how Philip introduced Nathaniel to Jesus.[Jn 1:45–47] The authors of the Synoptic Gospels also describe Philip as a disciple of Jesus.[Mt 10:3] [2] [Mk 3:18] [Lk 6:14]

Of the four Gospels, Philip figures most prominently in the Gospel of John. His two most notable appearances in the narrative are as a link to the Greek-speaking Jewish community: Philip introduces members of this community to Jesus;[Jn 12:20–36] and, during the Last Supper when he asked Jesus to see the Father, providing Jesus the opportunity to teach about the unity of the Father and the Son.[Jn 14:8–11]

Philip is always listed fifth among the apostles.[3]

Christian Tradition

Russian Orthodox icon of the Saint Philip the Apostle, 18th century (Iconostasis of Transfiguration Church, Kizhi Monastery, Karelia, Russia).

Christian stories about St Philip's life and ministry can be found in the extra-canonical writings of later Christians than in the New Testament. One of the most reliable fragments of knowledge about Philip comes from the head of the Catechetical School of Alexandria, Clement, who states that Philip was married, had children, and one of his daughters was also married.[4] Other legendary material about Philip can be misleading, as many hagiographers conflated Philip the Apostle with Philip the Evangelist. The most notable and influential example of this is the hagiography of Eusebius, in which Eusebius clearly assumes that both Philips are the same person.[5] As early as 1260, Jacobus de Voragine noted in his Golden Legend that the account of Philip's life given by Eusebius was not to be trusted.[6]

Later stories about Saint Philip's life can be found in the anonymous Acts of Philip, probably written by a contemporary of Eusebius.[7] This non-canonical book recounts the preaching and miracles of Philip. Following the resurrection of Jesus, Philip was sent with his sister Mariamne and Bartolomew to preach in Greece, Phrygia, and Syria.[8] Included in the Acts of Philip is an appendix, entitled "Of the Journeyings of Philip the Apostle: From the Fifteenth Act Until the End, and Among Them the Martyrdom." This appendix gives an account of Philip's martyrdom in the city of Hierapolis.[9] According to this account, through a miraculous healing and his preaching Philip converted the wife of the proconsul of the city. This enraged the proconsul, and he had Philip, Bartholomew, and Mariamne all tortured. Philip and Bartholomew were then crucified upside down, and Philip preached from his cross. As a result of Philip's preaching the crowd released Bartholomew from his cross, but Philip insisted that they not release him, and Philip died on the cross.

See also


  1. ^ St. Philip the Apostle in the Catholic Encyclopedia
  2. ^ Note that, as in the Gospel of John, Philip is here paired with Bartholomew.
  3. ^ Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18, Luke 6:14 and Acts 1:13
  4. ^ "Or do they also scorn the apostles? Peter and Philip had children, and Philip gave his daughters in marriage." Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies, 3.6.52, retrieved March 8, 2007.
  5. ^ For an example of Eusebius identifying Philip the Apostle with the Philip mentioned in Acts, see Eusebius of Ceasaria, Church History, 3.31.5, retrieved March 14, 2007).
  6. ^ Jacobus de Voragine, The Golden Legend, online version, retrieved March 14, 2007.
  7. ^ Craig A. Blaising, "Philip, Apostle" in The Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, ed. Everett Ferguson (New York: Garland Publishing, 1997).
  8. ^ Acts of Philip, especially book 8, retrieved March 14, 2007.
  9. ^ Available online (retrieved March 14, 2007).

External links



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