Saturday 22 April 2017

A Feast of Saint Philip the Apostle on the Irish Calendars

W.S.Sparrow, The Apostles in Art (1906).
Although our Irish calendars are primarily a source for the feast days of our native saints, they also commemorate saints of the universal Church. Some of the feasts recorded in the earliest Irish calendars are interesting, there was for example a commemoration of the feast of the Transfiguration, not at August 6 but at July 26 and there were even fixed dates assigned to moveable feasts, with March 27 being noted as the feast of the Resurrection. There are also commemorations of saints and apostles at dates different to those to which we are now accustomed. Saint Mary Magdalene, for example, had a feast at March 28 and Saint Symeon at October 8. On April 22 we have another of these historical curiosities with a feast of Saint Philip the Apostle being recorded in the two earliest Irish calendars, as Canon O'Hanlon explains below. In his day the feast of Saint Philip was celebrated on May 1 but has since been moved to May 3, the Orthodox commemoration is on November 14:

Feast of Saint Philip, the Apostle.

In the Feilire of St. Aengus at the 22nd of April, the commemoration of the Apostle, St. Philip is announced. In the Martyrology of Tallagh, a similar commemoration is found. The festival of this great Apostle is more generally assigned, however, to the 1st of May, when with the other Apostle St. James, the Less, the Church celebrates a feast, in their honour.

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