Monthly Archives: October 2016

Philip, Deacon and Evangelist

Philip the Evangelist, later regarded as a deacon, who is not to be confused with Philip the Apostle, was one of the seven Greek-speaking men chosen by the apostles to distribute food and alms to the widows and poor of Jerusalem (Acts 6).

After the death of Stephen, another of the Seven, Philip went to Samaria to preach the Gospel (Acts 8), converting the people there from the sorceries of Simon Magus. Simon himself is said to have been one of his converts. In his travels south to Gaza, Philip encountered an Ethiopian eunuch, a servant of the Ethiopian queen, reading the passage in Isaiah about the suffering servant. The two traveled together discussing the passage, and the Ethiopian became a believer. He asked for baptism and received the sacrament from Philip.

Philip traveled as a missionary, preaching in every city from Azotus (Ashdod) northwards to Caesarea, where he and his four daughters, who were known as prophets, established a residence. It was there that he entertained the Apostle Paul (Acts 21). Philip’s later life is a matter of speculation. According to Basil the Great, he became bishop of the church at Tralles in Asia Minor. The early fourth century historian Eusebius reports that Papias of Hierapolis (in Asia Minor) wrote in the early second century that the daughters of Philip, who had removed to Hierapolis from Caesarea Maritima, were one of his sources of oral traditions about Jesus, raising the question of whether Philip had moved to Hierapolis with his daughters. According to tradition, the Apostle Philip was buried in Hierapolis (and a first-century tomb that might be his was excavated in 2014), so it may be that the Philip who died and was buried there is actually Philip the Evangelist and not Philip the Apostle.

Philip’s feast day in the Eastern Church is October 11, and in the West the date is usually June 6. Some Anglican Churches observe his feast on October 11.

prepared from The New Book of Festivals and Commemorations

The Collect

Holy God, no one is excluded from your love, and your truth transforms the minds of all who seek you: As your servant Philip was led to embrace the fullness of your salvation and to bring the stranger to Baptism, so give us all the grace to be heralds of the Gospel, proclaiming your love in Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


The propers for the commemoration of Philip, Deacon and Evangelist, are published on the Lectionary Page website.

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