Philip the Evangelist
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|Born||Unknown (1st century)
|Died||24th October (1st century)|
|Coptic Orthodox Church
Armenian Apostolic Church
Ethiopian Orthodox Church
Syriac Orthodox Church
Saint Philip the Evangelist appears several times in the Acts of the Apostles. He was one of the Seven chosen to care for the poor of the Christian community in Jerusalem (Acts 6). He preached and performed miracles in Samaria, and met and baptised an Ethiopian man, a eunuch, in Gaza, traditionally marking the start of the Ethiopian Church (Acts 8). Later, he lived in Caesarea Maritima with his four daughters who prophesied, where he was visited by Paul (Acts 21).
He is first mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles (6:5) as one of "the seven" who were chosen to attend to certain temporal affairs of the church in Jerusalem in consequence of the murmurings of the Hellenists against the Hebrews.
He afterwards instructed and baptized the Ethiopian eunuch on the road between Jerusalem and Gaza; next he was "caught away" by the Spirit and "found at Azotus" (Ashdod), then "passing through he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea" (Acts 8).
Here some years afterwards, according to Acts 21:8-9, where he is described as "the evangelist" (a term found again in the New Testament only in Ephesians 4:11; 2 Timothy 4:5), he entertained Paul and his companion on their way to Jerusalem; at that time "he had four daughters which did prophesy".
At a very early period he came to be confused with the apostle Philip; the confusion was all the more easy because, as an esteemed member of the apostolic company, he may readily have been described as an apostle in the wider sense of that word, beyond the original 12 Apostles. A late tradition describes him as settling at Tralles in Anatolia, where he became the bishop of that church.
"St Philip the Deacon" is commemorated on October 11 in the Catholic Church, and the Episcopal Church (USA). In the Eastern Orthodox Church, Philip is counted among the Seventy Apostles, and is referred to as a Protodeacon; his feast day is celebrated on June 6.
- see further George Salmon, Introduction to the New Testament, 7th ed., p. 313 sqq.
- "Martyrologium Romanum", Typis Vaticanis, Editio Altera, 2004, entry for 11 October
- Calendar of saints (Episcopal Church in the United States of America)
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Apostle Philip the Deacon of the Seventy Orthodox icon and synaxarion
- Who is St. Philip the Evangelist
- IVP New Testament Commentary on Philip in Acts 8