St. Philip the Apostle
A native of Bethsaida, St. Philip may have been a disciple of John the
Baptist or may have belonged to a group associated with the Forerunner of
Christ. The details of his life other than those mentioned in the New
Testament exist in legend only. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Philip is one
name among the twelve apostles. John says that Philip was present at the
multiplication of the loaves and was instrumental in the calling of
Nathaniel. Philip also is the catalyst for teachings about the unity of
Christ and the Father and the need to die in order to live. Philip was
also present at the Pentecost. After that, legends vary. He is said to
have preached in Greece and Phrygia; he may also have preached in Scythia.
He is thought to have died in Hieropolis. Some say he died a natural
death, and some say he was crucified. His symbols in art are loaves of
bread or a tall cross.
Philip was popular with the Gnostics, who attribute a gospel, found in the
Nag Hammadi gospel, to him. The Gnostics also claim to have Peter's
written invitation to Philip to become an apostle.
Karen Rae Keck
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