Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Holy Apostle Philip of the Seventy, one of the Seven Deacons, and his daughters

The Holy Apostle Philip of the Seventy, one of the Seven Deacons - Commemorated on October 11 (fresco from Decani Monastery depicts St. Philip catechizing the Eunuch, as told in the Acts of the Apostles; detail from:

"Holy Apostle Philip of the Seventy, one of the 7 Deacons is not to be confused with St Philip one of the Twelve Apostles (November 14). This Philip was born in Palestine, was married and had children.

After the Descent of the Holy Spirit, the Twelve Apostles made Philip a deacon in the Church of Jerusalem. Along with the other six deacons, they appointed him to deal with the offerings of the faithful and attend to the concerns of the widowed, the orphaned and the needy. The eldest among the seven deacons was the holy Archdeacon Stephen. When the persecution of Christians began, the Jews stoned the Protomartyr Stephen. The Apostle Philip left Jerusalem and settled in Samaria. There he successfully preached Christianity. Among the disciple's converts was the noted magician Simon, who "after being baptized, continued with Philip." (Acts 8:9-13)

Detail of fresco of St. Philip baptizing the Eunuch (taken from:

At the command of an angel of the Lord, St Philip set out upon the road connecting Jerusalem with Gaza. There he met an official of the empress of Ethiopia, whom also he converted to Christianity (Acts 8:26-39). The holy disciple Philip tirelessly preached the Word of God in many of the lands of the Near East adjoining Palestine. At Jerusalem the Apostles made him a bishop and sent him to Tralles in Asia Minor, where he also baptized many. St Philip died in old age." (taken from:

Detail of fresco from Decani Monastery depicting St. Philip being carried away by an angel after baptizing the Eunuch (taken from:

St. Philip, as mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, had four daughters who had the gift of prophecy (Acts 21:8). St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain, in the Great Synaxaristes, names two, St. Ermione (who is commemorated September 4th), and Eutychis (who I have been unable to confirm if she is actively honored as a Saint). (
St. Ermione (Hermione) was a great physician, ascetic, and martyr of the early Church. For more information see:

Also note, the Skull of St. Philip the Deacon is treasured in the Holy Monastery of St. John the Theologian on Patmos, where his feast is honored. (

Icon of Sts. Philip the Deacon, Theophanes the Branded, and Zenais - all commemorated on October 11th (taken from:

Troparion of St. Philip the Deacon - Tone 3
Filled with divine grace, you served God the Word as a deacon of the Church, O Apostle Philip. By the working of miracles and by signs from God you enlightened the multitudes of Samaria. O blessed one, entreat Christ our God to grant us His great mercy.

Kontakion - Tone 4
Podoben: "Today You have shown forth..."
Inspired by the All-Holy Spirit, you enlightened the entire world by your teachings and resplendent miracles, Apostle Philip, sacred initiate.

Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!


Ann Chapin said...

Do you know if the four names of his daughters are well documented....meaning do you have a lot of confidence in that info? I'm asking for an icon including his four daughters that I'm doing and I'd like to name them all correctly.

Agioi_Anargyroi said...

Thank you for your post!

It turns out I must have been mistaken with this documentation.

It is true that St. Philip the Deacon celebrates on October 11th. On the same day celebrates Sts. Zenais and Philonilla, who are described as "relatives of St. Paul the Apostle" according to St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain, but they are not described anywhere I've seen as being two of St. Philip's daughters. (

As we know from the Acts of the Apostles, St. Philip had four pious daughters who had the gift of prophecy (Acts 21:8). Two are named by St. Nikodemos: St. Ermione (whose full life is given in the Great Synaxaristes) and Eutychis (who is just mentioned in passing, and is not mentioned in the Menaion of September 4th, so I am unsure if she is actively honored as a Saint or not). (

I have yet to see an icon that depicts his four daughters together, so I don't have an iconographic basis for this to give you.