Philip the Apostle

Saint Philip

Statue of Apostle Philip on Saint Isaac's cathedral. Saint Petersburg, Russia
Apostle and Martyr
BornUnknown, Bethsaida
Diedc.80 , Hierapolis
Venerated inAll Christianity
Canonizedpre-congregation
FeastMay 3 (Roman Catholic), November 14 (Eastern Orthodox), May 1 (Anglican)
AttributesElderly bearded man holding a basket of loaves and a Tau cross
Patronagehatters; 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 proselytized in Greece, Syria, and Phrygia. He was martyred by crucifixion in the city of Hierapolis. In the Catholic Church, the feast day of Saint Philip, along with Saint James, has traditionally been observed on 1 May, but was moved to 11 May, the next free day, in 1955 due to the addition of Saint Joseph the Workman. In 1970, with the suppression of many feasts during the revision of the calendar, it was placed on 3 May. Members of the Eastern Orthodox Church celebrate it on November 14. Many churches in the Anglican Communion continue to celebrate it on 1 May.

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.

Philip the Apostle is not to be confused with Philip the Evangelist from the Book of Acts.

New Testament

The Gospel of John describes Philip's calling as a disciple of Jesus.[1] The narrative of Philip's call as a disciple describes him as being from the city of Bethsaida, and connects him to Andrew and Simon Peter who were from the same town.[2] It further connects him to Nathaniel (sometimes identified with Bartholomew), by describing how Philip introduced Nathaniel to Jesus.[3] The authors of the Synoptic Gospels also describe Philip as a disciple of Jesus.[4]

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[5]); 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.[6]

Philip is always listed fifth among the apostles (Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18, Luke 6:14 and Acts 1:13).

Christian Tradition

Christian stories about 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.[7] 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.[8] 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.[9]

Later stories about Philip's life can be found in the anonymous Acts of Philip, probably written by a contemporary of Eusebius.[10] This non-canonical book recounts the preaching and miracles of Philip. Following the resurrection of Jesus, Philip was sent with his sister Mariamme and Bartolomew to preach in Greece, Phrygia, and Syria.[11] 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.[12] 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 Mariamme all tortured. Philip and Bartholomew were then crucified upsidedown, 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.

In the Unity Church, Philip is the Apostle associated with the power of dominion, or power, as per Charles Fillmore's The Twelve Powers of Man.

References

1. ^ John 1:43
2. ^ John 1:43-44.
3. ^ John 1:45-47
4. ^ See Matthew 10:3 (note that, as in the Gospel of John, Philip is here paired with Bartholomew); Mark 3:18; and Luke 6:14.
5. ^ John 12:20-36.
6. ^ John 14:8-11.
7. ^ : "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, available online, retrieved March 8, 2007.
8. ^ For an example of Eusebius identifying Philip the Apostle with the Philip mentioned in Acts, see Eusebius of Ceasaria, Church History, 3.31.5 (available online, retrieved March 14, 2007).
9. ^ Jacobus de Voragine, The Golden Legend, online version, retrieved March 14, 2007.
10. ^ Craig A. Blaising, "Philip, Apostle" in The Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, ed. Everett Ferguson (New York: Garland Publishing, 1997).
11. ^ Acts of Philip, especially book 8, available online, retrieved March 14, 2007.
12. ^ Available online (retrieved March 14, 2007).

External links

  • Philip in the Catholic Encyclopedia
  • The title "Apostle" in the Catholic Encyclopedia
  • Philip in the Catholic Forum


Persondata
NAMEPhilip
ALTERNATIVE NAMESPhilip the Apostle, Saint Philip
SHORT DESCRIPTIONApostle of Jesus, Christian Saint and Martyr
DATE OF BIRTHunknown
PLACE OF BIRTHBethsaida
DATE OF DEATHc. 80
PLACE OF DEATHHierapolis
Санкт-Петербург
Saint Petersburg

The English Embankment with Saint Isaac's Cathedral

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martyr (Greek μάρτυς "witness") initially signified a witness in the forensic sense, a person called to bear witness in legal proceedings. With this meaning it was used in the secular sphere as well as in both the Old Testament and the New Testament of
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Canonization (also spelled Canonisation) is the act by which a Christian Church declares a deceased person to be a saint, inscribing that person in the canon, or list, of recognized saints.
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