On May 2, Zenit conducted an interview with Professor Francesco D’Andria, director of the archaeological mission that located the tomb of St. Philip in Hierapolis, Phrygia (Turkey) in 2010/2011. The search was based upon a letter that Polycrates, the bishop of Ephesus, wrote to Pope Victor I (c. 190) stating that Philip “was one of the twelve Apostles and died in Hierapolis, as did two of his daughters who grew old in virginity.”
The discovery was the culmination of 50 years worth of archaeological work and strangely enough was confirmed by a bronze seal located in a museum in Richmond, Virginia which showed the complex of buildings then existing around St. Philip’s tomb. On the border of the seal is a phrase in Greek: Agios o Theos, agios ischyros, agios athanatos, eleison imas (Holy God, strong Holy One, immortal Holy One, have mercy on us).
It is very touching to see the evidence of the devotion of the pilgrims. The surface of a marble staircase leading to and from the tomb was “completely consumed by the steps of thousands upon thousands of people. Hence, the tomb received an extraordinary tribute of veneration.”
Read all the exciting details in the Zenit article.