Feast Day: 3 May
Patronage: Hatters, Pastry chefs
Like the brothers, Peter and Andrew, Philip was a native of Bethsaida on Lake Genesareth (John 1:44). He also was among those followers of John the Baptist.
On the day after Peter’s call, when about to set out for Galilee, Jesus met Philip and called him to the Apostolate with the words, “Follow me”. Philip obeyed the call, and a little later brought Nathaniel as a new disciple (John 1:43-45).
Philip is included among the names of the twelve Apostles. His name is in the three lists (Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:14-19; Luke 6:13-16) after the two pairs of brothers, Peter and Andrew, James and John. In the Gospels, Philip appears a naïve, somewhat shy, sober-minded man.
According to legend, Philip was preaching in Hieropolis together with Bartholomew, and through prayer killed a large serpent in a temple devoted to serpent worship. Philip also healed many of snake bite. Angered, the city governor and its pagan priest had Philip and Bartholomew crucified. As the two disciples were on the crosses, an earthquake knocked everyone to the ground, and Philip prayed for their safety. Seeing the earthquake abate, the people demanded that Philip and Bartholomew be released. Bartholomew survived, but Philip died.
Philip’s alleged remains were later moved to the Basilica of the Twelve Apostles in Rome, which was originally dedicated to Saints Philip and James (James the younger). So the two saints have come to be celebrated on the same day.