The Apostle Saint Philip

saint philip
St. Philip

According to legend, disciple Saint Philip preached in Phrygia and died as a martyr at Hierapolis. Philip came from Bethsaida, the same town as Peter and Andrew (John 1:44).

Saint Philip was most likely a fisherman as well. Although his name appears in the first three Gospels (Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18, Luke 6:14, and Acts 1:13), it is in the Gospel of John that Philip becomes a living personality.

Scholars disagree with Philip. Philip is mentioned as one of the seven ordained deacons in Acts 6:5. Some claim that this is a different Philip.

Some consider this to be the Apostle. If this is the same Philip, his personality has come to life as a result of his successful campaign in Samaria. He led the Ethiopian eunuch to faith in Christ (Acts 8:26). He also stayed with Paul in Caesarea (Acts 21:8) and was a key figure in the early church’s missionary enterprise.

st. philip, right side (copy)
St. Philip, right side (copy)

According to the Gospel of John, Philip was one of the first people to whom Jesus said,

“Follow Me.”

When Philip met Christ, he immediately sought out Nathanael and told him, “We have found him, of whom Moses… and the prophets did write.” Nathanael was sceptical.

But Philip did not argue with him; instead, he simply replied,

“Come and see.”

This story of Saint Philip reveals two important aspects, first, it demonstrates his correct approach to the skeptic as well as his simple faith in Christ. Second, it demonstrates his missionary instinct.

filippino st philip driving the dragon from the temple of hieropolis
Filippino St Philip Driving the Dragon from the Temple of Hieropolis

Saint Philip Birth

Saint Philip the Apostle, (born, Bethsaida of Galilee—died the 1st century; Western feast day May 3, Eastern feast day November 14), one of the Twelve Apostles.

Saint Philip with Christ

He was called by Jesus Himself and brought Nathanael to Christ. Philip was present at the miracle of the loaves and fishes, during which he had a brief conversation with the Lord, and he was the Apostle approached by Hellenistic Jews from Bethsaida to introduce them to Jesus.

Just before the Passion, Jesus responded to Philip’s request to show them the Father, but the New Testament makes no further mention of Philip other than his inclusion among the Apostles awaiting the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room.

chapel of mary magdalene - altarpiece st. philip
Chapel of Mary Magdalene - Altarpiece St. Philip

Saint Philip Life

“Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied,”

Philip said. Jesus stated,

“Have I been with you all this time and you still don’t recognize me, Philip?

Everyone who has seen me has seen the Father. ‘Show us the Father,’ how can you say?” (Matthew 14.8; Matthew 14:9) The ancient traditions about Philip are mixed up with those about Philip the deacon and evangelist.

One of the two Philips was laid to rest in Hieropolis, Phrygia, Asia Minor. Some ancient writers claim that Philip the apostle had three daughters, but Acts 21:8; Acts 21:9 mentions four daughters of Philip the deacon and evangelist, who are also said to be buried in Hieropolis, according to one tradition.

According to legend, while preaching in Hieropolis with Saint Bartholomew, Philip killed a large serpent in a temple dedicated to serpent worship through prayer. Philip also treated a large number of snake bites. Angry, the city governor and its pagan priest crucified Philip and Bartholomew.

saint philip
Saint Philip

An earthquake knocked everyone to the ground while the two disciples were on the cross, and Philip prayed for their safety. When the earthquake subsided, the people demanded the release of Philip and Bartholomew. Philip died, but Bartholomew survived.

The alleged remains of Philip were later moved to Rome’s Basilica of the Twelve Apostles, which was originally dedicated to Saints Philip and Saint James the Less. As a result, the two saints are now celebrated on the same day. Philip is the patron saint of hatters, pastry chefs, the countries of Luxembourg and Uruguay, as well as numerous churches, schools, and hospitals around the world.

As May Day was dedicated to St. Joseph the Worker in 1955, the Roman Catholic church moved the traditional date away from 1 May. St. Philip Feast Day is now celebrated on 3 May by Roman Catholics, 14 November by Eastern churches, and 1 May or 3 May by Anglicans.

st philip
St Philip

Philip the Apostle’s Accomplishments

Philip learned the truth about the kingdom of God at the feet of Jesus, then preached the gospel after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension.

Philip’s Strengths and Weaknesses

Philip fervently sought the Messiah and recognized that Jesus was the promised Savior, even though he did not fully understand until after Jesus’ resurrection. Like the other apostles, Philip deserted Jesus during his trial and crucifixion.

Saint Philip Travels/Missionary

Philip is derived from the Greek name Philippos, which means “friend of horses.” He went on to become a missionary in Greece, Syria, and Phrygia. He eventually made his way to the Egyptian city of Heliopolis, where he was whipped, imprisoned, and crucified around the year 54 A.D. His ashes can be found in Rome’s Holy Apostles Basilica.

saint philip painting

Saint Philip the Apostle Painting

Canvas print depicting saint Philip, the saint stands out alone, the colours are lively, the saint is dressed in a simple way as to show that the apostles were common men of their times, this basic dress also exalts the divine dimension of the saint.

Available in three different sizes:cm 30×40, cm 50×70, cm 70×100.

Artist: Paolo Bartoli

MATERIALS: Canvas print, wood

The following product has an affiliate link. We may receive a commission for purchases made through this link.


As with the other apostles, we see in James and Philip human men who became foundation stones of the Church, and we are reminded once more that holiness and its attendant apostolate are entirely a gift of God, not something that can be earned. All power is God’s power, including human freedom to accept his gifts.

“You will be clothed with power from on high,” Jesus promised Philip and the other disciples. Their first assignment had been to expel unclean spirits, heal diseases, and proclaim the kingdom. They gradually realized that these externals were sacraments of an even greater miracle within them—the divine power to love like God.

martyrdom of saint philip, from the series 'the little apostles' (les petits apôtres)
Martyrdom of Saint Philip, from the series 'The little apostles'
(Les petits apôtres)

Saint Phillip Death

It’s difficult to say how Saint Philip died, especially because he was initially confused with Philip the Evangelist, and there are conflicting accounts. According to one source, he died of natural causes. According to another, he was beheaded. Alternatively, he could be stoned to death.

Or crucified on the wrong side of the cross. The majority of the earliest traditions point to him being martyred in Hierapolis. Polycrates of Ephesus wrote to Pope Victor,

“I speak of Philip, one of the twelve apostles, who is laid to rest at Hierapolis…”

Caius the Presbyter (a third-century Christian writer) stated,

“And after this, there were four prophetesses, daughters of Philip, at Hierapolis in Asia.”

Their tomb is there, as is their father’s.

The Acts of Philip contain the earliest and most detailed account of his martyrdom, but it’s difficult to know how much we can trust it. He allegedly converted the wife of a proconsul, which enraged the proconsul enough to have him and Bartholomew crucified upside down. While they were still hanging, Philip preached, and the crowd was moved to release them. He instructed them to free Bartholomew but not to kill him.

Philip died in the first century, possibly around the year 80 AD.

rubens apostel philippus
Rubens Apostel Philippus

Saint Philip Key Takeaway

Both Philip and James were Apostles, chosen by Jesus to follow him and continue his work of building God’s Kingdom. Catholics celebrate their feast on the same day because, despite dying at different times and locations, their bodies were moved and buried together in Rome’s Church of the Twelve Apostles.

Saint Philip, the third man Jesus summoned to

“Follow me,”

is also a fisherman (John 1:43). We know that Philip recognized Jesus as God’s messenger right away. As Jesus’ newest disciple, the first thing he did was invite his friend Nathanael to come and see the Lord. From the beginning, he desired to spread the Good News of Jesus to others!

Saint Philip was also an inquisitive man who wanted to know everything he could about Jesus and his teachings.

“Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us,”

Jesus was taken aback by Philip’s request. He responded,

“Have I been with you for so long and you still don’t know who I am, Philip?”

Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Philip’s question and Jesus’ response help us understand that we are called to grow in our faith daily.

Saint Philip is said to have traveled to Asia Minor, now known as Turkey, after receiving the Holy Spirit at Pentecost to tell others about Jesus’ life and teachings. He died as a martyr for our (catholic) faith.

Saint Philip Summary

Philip, like Peter and Andrew, was from Bethesda. In the Gospel of John, he takes on the form of a living person. He was the first man Jesus told to follow him, and he believed He was the prophet Moses described. He had a warm heart and a pessimistic mind, and he desperately wanted to help others but couldn’t see how. He was hanged, and as he died, he requested that his body be wrapped in papyrus rather than linen, as Jesus was.

saint philip - basilica of st. john lateran - rome
Saint Philip - Basilica of St. John Lateran - Rome

Philip was a man with a good heart but a pessimistic outlook. He was the type of person who wanted to help others but couldn’t see how it could be done. Nonetheless, this simple Galilean gave everything he had. In return, God made use of him. He was said to have died by hanging.

While he was dying, he requested that his body be wrapped in papyrus rather than linen because he was not worthy for even his dead body to be treated as Jesus’ body had been treated. Because of his role in the feeding of the five thousand, Philip’s symbol is a basket. He was the one who emphasized the cross as a symbol of Christianity and victory.

#1. Which of the disciples did Philip say to, "We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write?

#2. Which is the St. Phillip Symbol?

#3. Which city governor's wife was he+aled by the apostle Philip?

#4. Which apostle is Philip always listed together with?

#5. When is apostle Philip's feast day according to the Coptic calendar?

#6. When was Philip the Apostle born?

#7. What is Saint Phillip, the patron saint of?

#8. Philip was sent to speak to an Ethiopian eunuch who held what position in the court of Candace, queen of Ethiopia?

#9. Where did apostle Philip travel to when he left Galilee?

#10. The name Philip is an anglicized form of which Greek word.




What is Saint Philip the Apostle known for in Christian theology?

Saint Philip is known for his role as one of the twelve apostles of Jesus, as well as for being a close friend and companion of the Apostle Peter. He is also remembered for his missionary work and for being martyred for his faith.

How did Saint Philip die?

According to tradition, Saint Philip was martyred by crucifixion in the city of Hierapolis, in present-day Turkey.

What are the symbols associated with Saint Philip?

Saint Philip is often depicted in art holding a cross, as he is said to have been martyred by crucifixion. He is also sometimes shown holding a book or scroll, symbolizing his role as an apostle and teacher of the faith.

Are there any famous churches dedicated to Saint Philip?

Yes, there are several famous churches dedicated to Saint Philip, including the Church of St. Philip Neri in Rome and the Church of St. Philip the Apostle in Jerusalem.

Is Saint Philip the Apostle the same person as Saint Philip Neri?

No, Saint Philip the Apostle and Saint Philip Neri are two different people. Saint Philip Neri was a Catholic saint and founder of the Congregation of the Oratory, who lived in the 16th century.

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