|Sts. Prochoros, Nikanor, Timon and Parmenas (Feast Day - July 28)|
Four disciples of the God-man Word,
Of the revered Trinity they preached the word to all.
On the twenty-eighth the four came together to be initiated.
The Holy Apostles Prochoros, Nikanor, Timon and Parmenas were four of the first seven deacons in the Church of Christ, and were numbered among the Seventy Apostles.
In the book of the Acts of the Apostles (6:1-6) it relates that at Jerusalem the Twelve Apostles chose seven men: Stephen (Dec. 27), Philip (Oct. 11), Prochoros, Nikanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicholas (who became leader of the heresy of the Nicolaitans), men full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, and established them to serve as deacons. As deacons they served the needs of the Church in Jerusalem, especially for those who were poor, the widows and the orphans.
Although they died at various times and in various places, the Holy Church has established these four to be commemorated together on July 28th.
Saint Prochoros, after the Dormition of the Mother of God, was a companion and co-worker of the Apostle John the Theologian and together with him was banished to the island of Patmos. There he wrote down the Book of Revelation which was dictated to him by the Apostle John. After burying the Apostle John in Ephesus, he went to Nicomedia where he was made bishop by the Apostle Peter, and reposed soon after; according to tradition he died a martyr's end in Antioch.
Saint Nikanor suffered and died on that day when the Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen was killed by stoning, with many other Christians in Jerusalem.
Saint Timon was established by the Apostles as bishop of the city of Bastoria in Arabia and suffered from the Jews and pagans for preaching the Gospel. He was thrown into a furnace, where he died. According to Roman sources, he survived the furnace and was crucified.
Saint Parmenas zealously preached Christ in Macedonia. He died from sickness befalling him before the eyes of the Apostles in Jerusalem and was mourned and buried by them. There exists also the opinion, that Saint Parmenas suffered under Trajan (98-117) in the final year of his reign, having accepted a martyr's end.
In the end, each of these four deacons were "faithful deacons in the Lord" (Eph. 6:21).
Apolytikion in the Third Tone
O Holy Apostles, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.
Kontakion in the First Tone
By faith ye were shown forth as the Word's hallowed deacons, His ven'rable eye-witnesses, and chosen vessels, Nikanor and Prochoros, glorious Timon and Parmenas; hence we celebrate today your sacred memorial, and with joy of heart, we keep the feast now in gladness, whereon we all call you blessed.