Altar Frontal

Altar Frontal

Artist(s) J. Whippell Co.
Medium Antique satin
Origin London
Creation
Date
20th century
Size 12'8" X 3'3"
Donor Fowler
Acquisition
Date
1963
   
Image Source STP

 

Comments

The altar frontal is modern, hand-sewn, antique satin, and made in England for St. Philip’s. In the center circle is the cross, the symbol of Philip’s martyrdom, and the 5 loaves and 2 fish remind us of how Christ tested Philip at the feeding of the multitude (Mark 6:35-44). The left and right circles contain symbols of the cross and dragon that are assigned to St. Philip, the disciple. The dragon legend tells us that, after Jesus’ ascension into heaven, Philip carried the Gospel to Hierapolis (now Turkey). There, first century Christians led him to the temple of Mars where there was a hot springs with a screen behind it. The people were worshipping a dragon. He raised a cross to make the dragon disappear. Its death left such a stench that the king’s son died. Philip again rais ped the cross to raise the young man back to life. Priests were so enraged that they killed Philip. Thehoenix in the right circle is taken from the coat of arms of the Diocese of Arizona. It is an ancient symbol of arising from ashes in many cultures. Ditat Deus (Latin for “Word" or "Gift-of God”) is the motto of the Diocese of Arizona. [source: tour notes]