Saint Philip the Apostle was from Bethsaida, a town in Galilee (John 1:43; John 12:21). He was one of the original twelve apostles of Jesus (Matt.10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14). He was mentioned in the Synoptic Gospels, but the Gospel of John offered a more detailed account of Philip’s involvement in Jesus’ ministry than the first three gospels. After Jesus had called Philip to follow him, he went to find his friend Nathanael and brought the initially skeptical man to Jesus (John 1:43-48). Philip and Andrew also stood out among the apostles as the only two men who had Greek names.
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He displayed his practical nature when Jesus asked him where they should buy bread for the 5,000 or so people who followed them to the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Philip exclaimed that “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” (John 6:5-7 NIV)
He introduced some Greek worshipers to Jesus (John 12:21-22) and was present during the Lord’s various teachings (John 14). As a member of the Jesus’ inner circle, Philip witnessed his betrayal, death, and ascension to heaven (Acts 1:13). Philip, as one of the original twelve apostles, made the decision to turn over the management of food distribution among the Hebrew and Gentile widows to seven men of the church including Philip the Evangelist (Acts 6:1-7).
Legend says that he traveled north to Scythia in southern Russia and established a church there. He left Scythia after twenty years and established another church in Hierapolis in Phrygia (a part of modern Turkey) where he later died by crucifixion. He is frequently depicted in artworks with loaves of bread as well as fish. His feast day is on the 3rd of May.
Picture By Peter Paul Rubens – Museo del Prado, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14822102
Shafiroff, Ira. “Hebrew Names for Jewish Apostles.” ‘Jesus and the Professor’ March 22, 2011. http://www.jesusandtheprofessor.com/2011/03/hebrew-names-for-jewish-apostles.html.
Rubens, Peter Paul, Giovanni Battista Carlone, and David O. McKay. The Apostles of Jesus Christ. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret News Press, 1959.
“Hierapolis-Pamukkale.” – UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Accessed April 26, 2016. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/485.
“Symbols of St. Philip the Apostle.” St Philip’s Anglican Church, O’Connor. Accessed April 26, 2016. http://stphilipsoconnor.org.au/saint_philip_symbols.php.
The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. “Saint Philip the Apostle.” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Accessed April 27, 2016. http://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-Philip-the-Apostle.
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