Apostle Philip
Gregory Palamas

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14-11-2015 All day

Philip the Apostle

philipapostleThe Holy and All-praised Apostle Philip, was a native of the city of Bethsaida in Galilee. He had a profound depth of knowledge of Holy Scripture, and rightly discerning the meaning of the Old Testament prophecies, he awaited the coming of the Messiah. Through the call of the Saviour (John 1:43), Philip followed Him. The Apostle Philip is spoken about several times in the New Testament. It was he that brought Apostle Nathaniel (i.e. Bartholomew) to Christ (See John 1:46), Christ asks him where to buy bread for five thousand men (John 6: 5-7), he brought certain of the Hellenized Jews wanting to see Jesus (John 12:21-22), and at the Last Supper he asked Christ to show them the Father (John 14:8).

After Christ’s Ascension, St Philip preached the Word of God in Galilee, accompanying his preaching with miracles. Thus, he restored to life a dead infant in the arms of its mother. From Galilee, he went to Greece, and preached among the Jews that had settled there. Some of them reported the preaching of the Apostle to Jerusalem. In response, some scribes arrived in Greece from Jerusalem, with one of the Jewish chief priests at their head, to interrogate the Apostle Philip.

The Apostle Philip exposed the lie of the chief priest, who said that the disciples of Christ had stolen away and hidden the body of Christ. Philip told instead how the Pharisees had bribed the soldiers on watch, to spread this rumour. When the Jewish chief priest and his companions began to insult the Lord and lunged at the Apostle Philip, they suddenly were struck blind. By his prayer, the Apostle restored everyone’s sight. Seeing this miracle, many believed in Christ. The Apostle Philip provided a bishop for them, by the name of Narcissus (one of the Seventy Apostles, commemorated January 4).

From Greece the Apostle Philip went to Parthia, and then to the city of Azotus, where he healed an eye affliction of the daughter of a local resident named Nikoklides, who had received him into his home, and then baptized his whole family.

Apostle Philip set out from Azotus to Syrian Hieropolis (there were several cities of this name) where, stirred up by the Pharisees, the Jews burned the house of Heros, who had taken in the Apostle Philip, and they wanted to kill the apostle. The apostle performed several miracles: the healing of the hand of the city official Aristarchus, withered when he attempted to strike the apostle; and restoring a dead child to life. When they saw these marvels, they repented and many accepted holy Baptism. After making Heros the bishop at Hieropolis, the Apostle Philip went on to Syria, Asia Minor, Lydia, Emessa, and everywhere preaching the Gospel and undergoing sufferings. Both he and his sister Mariamne (commemorated February 17) were pelted with stones, locked up in prison, and thrown out of villages.

Then the Apostle Philip arrived in the city of Phrygian Hieropolis, where there were many pagan temples. There was also a pagan temple where people worshiped an enormous serpent as a god. The Apostle Philip by the power of prayer killed the serpent and healed many bitten by snakes.

Among those healed was the wife of the city governor, Amphipatos. Having learned that his wife had accepted Christianity, the governor Amphipatos gave orders to arrest St. Philip, his sister, and the Apostle Bartholomew travelling with them. At the urging of the pagan priests of the temple of the serpent, Amphipatos ordered the holy Apostles Philip and Bartholomew to be crucified. Suddenly, an earthquake struck, and it knocked down all those present at the place of judgement. Hanging upon the cross by the pagan temple of the serpent, the Apostle Philip prayed for those who had crucified him, asking God to save them from the ravages of the earthquake. Seeing this happen, the people believed in Christ and began to demand that the apostles be taken down from the crosses. The Apostle Bartholomew was still alive when he was taken down, and he baptized all those believing and established a bishop for them. But the Apostle Philip, through whose prayers everyone remained alive, except for Amphipatos and the pagan priests, died on the cross.

Mariamne his sister buried his body, and went with the Apostle Bartholomew to preach in Armenia, where the Apostle Bartholomew was crucified commemorated June 11); Mariamne herself then preached until her own death at Lykaonia.

The holy Apostle Philip is not to be confused with St Philip the Deacon (commemorated October 11), one of the Seventy.

Dismissal Hymn (Third Tone)

O Holy Apostle Philip, intercede with the merciful God that He grant to our souls forgiveness of offences.

Kontakion (Plagal of the Fourth Tone)

Your disciple and friend, emulator of Your passion, the divinely eloquent Philip, proclaimed You to the world as God. By his entreaties, and through the Theotokos, keep Your Church from lawless enemies, O most merciful.

 

Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessaloniki

Saint Gregory Palamas

This divine Father, who was from Asia Minor, was from childhood reared in the royal court of Constantinople, where he was instructed in both religious and secular wisdom. Later, while still a youth, he left the imperial court and struggled in asceticism on Mount Athos, and in the Skete at Beroea. He spent some time in Thessalonica being treated for an illness that came from his harsh manner of life. He was present in Constantinople at the Council that was convened in 1341 against Barlaam of Calabria, and at the Council of 1347 against Acindynus, who was of like mind with Barlaam; Barlaam and Acindynus claimed that the grace of God is created. At both these Councils, the Saint contended courageously for the true dogmas of the Church of Christ, teaching in particular that divine grace is not created, but is the uncreated energies of God which are poured forth throughout creation: otherwise it would be impossible, if grace were created, for man to have genuine communion with the uncreated God. In 1347 he was appointed Metropolitan of Thessalonica. He tended his flock in an apostolic manner for some twelve years, and wrote many books and treatises on the most exalted doctrines of our Faith; and having lived for a total of sixty-three years, he reposed in the Lord in 1359.His holy relics are kept in the Cathedral of Thessalonica.

Apolytikion of Gregory Palamas, Abp. Of Thessolonica in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

You are a guide of Orthodoxy, a teacher of piety and modesty, a luminary of the world, the God inspired pride of monastics. O wise Gregory, you have enlightened everyone by your teachings. You are the harp of the Spirit. Intercede to Christ our God for the salvation of our souls.

Kontakion of Gregory Palamas, Abp. Of Thessolonica in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

With one accord, we praise thee as the sacred and divine * vessel of wisdom and clear trumpet of theology, * O our righteous Father Gregory of divine speech. * As a mind that standeth now before the Primal Mind, * do thou ever guide aright and lead our mind to Him, * that we may cry: * Rejoice, O herald of grace divine.

 

Holy Great New Martyr Constantine of Hydra

constantine_of_hydraConstantine was born on the island of Hydra in the 18th century. Born to a pious Orthodox Christian family, he left the island to the city of Rhodes in order to find work. There he worked for the Turkish governer and converted to Islam. He soon repented and returned to his Christian faith and lived on Mt Athos for a period of time as a monastic.  He returned to Rhodes to confront the governor and confess his Christian faith. He died the death of a martyr by being beheaded on November 14, 1800.

Apolytikion of New Martyr Constantine in the Plagal of the First Tone

Constantine of Hydra, the most-precious shield, the boast of Neomartyrs, who struggled on Rhodes, in hymns and spiritual odes, let us providently honor him O brethren, who suffered for Christ, and received death by hanging. Therefore he rules together with Christ, and he grants abundant healing greater in number than the sand to all who flee to him.