October 24, 2022 - Baba 14, 1739
Departure of St. Philip, One of the Seven Deacons
On this day was the departure of St. Philip, one of the Seven Deacons, departed. He was from Caesarea, Palestine. When the Lord Christ, to Him is the glory, went through this area, this saint heard Him teaching and followed Him immediately. When the Lord chose the 70 Disciples and sent them forth to preach and heal the sick, this disciple was one of them. The Twelve Apostles chose him as one of the Seven Deacons appointed to serve. This Apostle preached in the cities of Samaria and baptized its people. He also baptized Simon the magician who perished when he tried to buy the gift of the Holy Spirit with money. One day the angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza. He rose and went and behold a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace, the Queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury and had come to Jerusalem to worship. As he was returning and sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. Then the spirit said to Philip, Go near and join this chariot. So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah and said, Do you understand what you are reading?
And he said, How can I, unless someone guides me? And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. The place in the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter. And as a lamb before its shearer is silent. So He opened not his mouth. In His humiliation His justice was taken away. And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth. So the eunuch answered Philip and said, I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, See, here is water; What hinders me from being baptized? Then Philip said, if you believe with all your heart, you may. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea. (Acts 8:26-40) He went around the countries of Asia and preached the living Gospel there. He had four daughters who preached the word of God with him. He brought many of the Jews, the Samaritans and others to the faith, and departed in peace. May his prayers and blessings be with us all, and Glory be to God forever. Amen.