Not much is known about Philip. Born in Bethsaida on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, he is often confused with Philip the Evangelist.
Apart from his inclusion in the list of the twelve apostles, much information comes from the Gospel of John, where he is described as one of the first followers of Jesus.
The gospel mentions him in connection with the miraculous feeding of the five thousand and with Jesus' discourse at the Last Supper.
Outside of the New Testament, it's the apocryphal Acts of Philip which traces the history of the saint.
According to the text, after Jesus' resurrection, Philip preached in Greece, Syria and Asia Minor. He is said to have met a martyr's death in Hierapolis, in what is now Turkey, around 80 A.D.
Following a conflict with the snake worshippers of Hierapolis, a city famous at that time for its wealth and idolatry, he was allegedly executed by the Romans - hung on a tree upside down with irons in his heels and ankles.
"In answer to Philip's cry while hanging upside-down on the tree, an abyss suddenly opened and swallowed the proconsul and the viper temple where he was sitting, as well as the viper priests and 7,000 men, plus women and children," reads the apocryphal account.