An Example of Holiness – St. Philip

In the Catholic tradition when one is baptized they are given a “baptismal name.” The name is generally that of a Saint. These names serve as examples of holiness that point towards “the spiritual tradition and long history of the saints who have gone before [them] and whom the liturgy celebrates in the rhythms of the sanctoral cycle” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Article 3, section 2030). The name points the bearer to the greater tradition they are a part of and shows how the Lord has worked through others before them. Similarly, when Churches are blessed or dedicated they are given a name that points to an example of holiness.

The example of holiness the has been bestowed upon our building and community is St. Philip the Apostle. St. Philip  was a resident of Bethsaida of Galilee. It was here that Jesus found and commanded Philip to, “follow him” (John 1:43). Philip then does an extraordinary thing; he shares the news of Christ to another, Nathanael (John 1:45-46). He does not understand Jesus’s message yet, and probably has had little time to converse with him, but he has seen the Christ. Philip could play things safe and let Jesus continue to meet and command people to follow him. However, Philip surprises us, and does not let doubt and his lack of knowledge keep him from sharing about Christ.

St. Philip, dragon slayer
Like Saint George, Saint Philip is said to have slain a dragon. This and other heroic deeds were later additions to his life story.

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