Witnesses to the Resurrection: St Philip the Apostle

By Jordan Grantham, Eastertide 2017
St Philip the Apostle, Rubens. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Ceiling fresco, Church of the Twelve Holy Apostle, Rome. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Name: St Philip the Apostle

Feast Day: May 3

Death: Hierapolis, 1st century AD. Crucified and stoned to death.

Shrine: Basilica of the Twelve Holy Apostles, Rome

Interior of the Basilica of the Twelve Holy Apostles. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Patron: Pastry Chefs, Hatters, Uruguay, Cape Verde, Frascati

Life and Scripture:

St Philip was from Bethsaida in Galilee, on the East Bank of the River Jordan, the hometown of St Peter and St Andrew.

St Philip spoke Greek and is mentioned passing on messages from Greek speaking Jews.

St Philip travelled through parts of Asia with St Bartholomew and was crucified upside down and stoned to death for opposing the heresy of the Ebionites, an early Christian sect, who held that Christians must have a strict observance of Jewish Law.

Church Fathers: St Jerome quotes a letter from Polycrates, a bishop of Ephesus [~190AD], which connects St Philip’s death to Hierapolis. Papias, bishop of Hierapolis [60 – 130AD] also confirms the connection.

The crypt which contains the relics of St Philip and St James the Lesser. Image: Wikimedia Commons


With thanks to Rev Dr Paul Stenhouse MSC, Whatever happened to the twelve apostles? (2006, Chevalier Press)

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