st.Philip-One of Jesus’ Tewlve Disciples, apostle, martyr

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Feast Day : May 3 (formerly May 1 and May 11; in Eastern church, November 14)




Patronage: hatters; pastry chefs; Luxembourg; Uruguay



Little is known about Philip, except that he was one of Jesus’ disciples. Like several others, he was a native of Bethsaida, Galilee, and was a follower of St. John the Baptist. He was called to the Apostolate by Jesus the day after he called Peter and John. Philip was responsible for bringing in another of the group, St. Bartholomew. Philip was present for the miracle of the loaves and fishes. According to tradition, he left Palestine with the other apostles during the persecutions of Herod Agrippa I (r. 41–44). He preached in Greece and was crucified head down at Hierapolis in Phrygia under Emperor Domitian, about the year 80. His relics were later translated to Rome and placed in the basilica of the Twelve Apostles. The Golden Legend says that Philip drove away a dragon to the temple of Mars with the cross. Some later traditions concerning his supposed daughters confuse him with Philip the Deacon. The cross is an important feature in artistic representations of Philip. It represents variously his preaching on the Victory of the Cross, his weapon against the dragon and the instrument of his martyrdom. Typically he is depicted as an elderly apostle holding a long cross or a staff with a small cross on it, though sometimes he holds a basket of loaves and a cross. He is also shown crucified on a tall cross; with loaves and fishes; with a loaf and a book; with a snake or dragon; and casting a devil from the idol of Mars.

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