St. Philip the Apostle Icon (1)
Orthodox Icon of Phillip the Apostle, Philippos (2). Copy of contemporary icon.
Commemorated November 14th.
The Holy and All-praised Apostle Philip, was a native of the city of Bethsaida in Galilee. He had a profound depth of knowledge of the Holy Scripture, and rightly discerning the meaning of the Old Testament prophecies, he awaited the coming of the Messiah. Through the call of the Savior (John 1:43), Philip followed Him. The Apostle Philip is spoken about several times in the Holy Gospel: he brought to Christ the Apostle Nathaniel (i.e. Bartholomew, April 22, June 30, and August 25. See John. 1:46). The Lord asks him where to buy bread for five thousand men (John. 6: 5-7).
He brought certain of the Hellenized Jews wanting to see Jesus (John. 12:21-22); and finally, at the Last Supper he asked Christ to show them the Father (John. 14:8). The Apostle Philip preached the Word of God in Galilee after the ascension of Jesus. He is know to have worked many miracles miracles. After many travels the Apostle Philip arrived in the city of Phrygian Hieropolis, where there was also a pagan temple where people worshiped an enormous serpent as a god.
The Apostle Philip by the power of prayer killed the serpent and healed many bitten by snakes. Among those healed was the wife of the city prefect, Amphipatos. Having learned that his wife had accepted Christianity, the prefect Amphipatos gave orders to arrest St Philip, his sister, and the Apostle Bartholomew traveling with them. At the urging of the pagan priests of the temple of the serpent, Amphipatos ordered the holy Apostles Philip and Bartholomew to be crucified.
Suddenly, an earthquake struck, and it knocked down all those present at the place of judgment. Hanging upon the cross by the pagan temple of the serpent, the Apostle Philip prayed for those who had crucified him, asking God to save them from the ravages of the earthquake. Seeing this happen, the people believed in Christ and began to demand that the apostles be taken down from the crosses.
The Apostle Bartholomew was still alive when he was taken down, and he baptized all those believing and established a bishop for them. But the Apostle Philip died on the cross. Mariamne his sister buried his body, and continued with the Apostle Bartholomew to preach in Armenia, where the Apostle Bartholomew was crucified (June 11); Mariamne herself then preached until her own death at Lykaonia.