Lydia of Philippi

Orthodox Remembrance Day:7 May, 20 May, 3 August

Catholic Remembrance Day: August 3

Name means: Woman from Lydia (Greek – Latin.)

first Christian woman in Europe

Patroness: the dyer


* in Thyatira, today Akhisar in Turkey
end of the 1st century in Philippi, today ruins near Krinides in Greece

Antike original russische Ikone aus dem 19. Jahrhundert.


Lydia was a purple merchant in Philippi, where the agora can be seen in the excavations. She was a godly woman, that is, one who was not of Jewish origin, but had an interest in the monotheistic Jewish faith, attended the synagogue and was close to the Jewish community; thus she was open to Paul’s message and therefore received him and Silas in her house (Acts 16:14-15); accordingly, she was the head of the household, widow or an independent businesswoman.


In the Orthodox Churches, Lydia was given great devotion, she is described as apostle-like and depicted on numerous icons. Near Philippi there are few remains of an early basilica dedicated to it, a new Lydia church and a memorial on the site where, according to tradition, her baptism took place.


Joachim Schäfer: Article Lydia von Philippi, from the Ecumenical Dictionary of Saints –

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