Saturday, October 11, 2014

Philip the Protodeacon

He is first mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles (6:5) as one of "the seven" who were chosen to attend to certain temporal affairs of the church in Jerusalem in consequence of the murmurings of the Hellenists against the Hebrews.

After the martyrdom of Saint Stephen he went to "the city of Samaria", where he preached with much success, Simon Magus being one of his converts.

He afterwards instructed and baptized the Ethiopian eunuch on the road between Jerusalem and Gaza; next he was "caught away" by the Spirit and "found at Azotus" (Ashdod), then "passing through he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea" (Acts 8).

Here some years afterwards, according to Acts 21:8-9, where he is described as "the evangelist" (a term found again in the New Testament only in Ephesians 4:11; 2 Timothy 4:5), he entertained Paul and his companion on their way to Jerusalem; at that time "he had four daughters which did prophesy".

At a very early period he came to be confused with the apostle Philip; the confusion was all the more easy because, as an esteemed member of the apostolic company, he may readily have been described as an apostle in the wider sense of that word, beyond the original 12 Apostles. A late tradition describes him as settling at Tralles in Anatolia, where he became the bishop of that church.

Propers for Philip the Protodeacon

The Collect.

Almighty and everlasting God, we thank thee for thy servant Philip the Deacon, whom thou didst call to preach the Gospel to the peoples of Samaria and Ethiopia. Raise up, we beseech thee, in this and every land heralds and evangelists of thy kingdom, that thy Church may make known the immeasurable riches of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and for ever.Amen.

The Epistle - Acts 1:1-9.

THE former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: to whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: and, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things. while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

The Gospel - St. Luke 10:1-9.

AFTER these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor pack, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way. And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: and heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

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