With a pruning-knife, as corn,
Stachys reaps in his present life.
To Apelles, Amplias, Urban and Narcissus
The four-stringed harp of the Apostles,
Silently deprive spirits like a clef.
By your words Aristobulus you hunted souls,
Joined to Christ, your reward is to petition for the prey.
On the thirty-first the six Apostles found their end.
These six holy Apostles were among the Seventy Disciples of the Lord, and were all mentioned by the Apostle Paul in his epistle to the Romans.
Stachys, whom Saint Paul calls "my beloved friend" (Rom. 16:9), was appointed the first Bishop of Byzantium, later called Constantinople, by Saint Andrew the Apostle. He built a church in Argyropolis, just outside Byzantium, where he gathered more than two thousand Christians for instruction and the Divine Liturgy. He tended Christ's flock for sixteen years, from 38-54 A.D., and then reposed in peace.
Apelles, whom Saint Paul says that his "fidelity stood fast in the test" (Rom. 16:10), became Bishop of Heraclea in Asia Minor and, before his blessed repose, brought multitudes to the faith.
Amplias, the "beloved" of Saint Paul, and Urban, his "helper in Christ" (Rom. 16:8-9), were also made bishops by Saint Andrew. Amplias was Bishop of Odyssopolis in Macedonia and Urban was Bishop of all Macedonia. For their zealous preaching of the Gospel, they suffered many torments. Amplias was put to death by pagans, while Urban was martyred by pagans and Jews.
Narcissus (Rom. 16:11) became Bishop of Athens, and after enduring torture was gloriously martyred for Christ.
Aristobulus (Rom. 16:10) became Bishop of Britain, where he preached the words of truth to the barbarians and brought many to salvation. He reposed in peace.
Apolytikion in Plagal of the Fifth Tone
Let us acclaim Stachys, Apelles, Amplias, Urban, Narcissus and Aristobulus as a six-stringed harp of the Spirit that sings of God's marvelous gifts to mankind. As divine Apostles they pray for us.
Kontakion in Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Let us thankfully praise the wise Apostles Stachys, Apelles, Amplias, Urban, Narcissus and Aristobulus, those treasures of the Holy Spirit and rays of the Sun of glory, who were brought together by the grace of our God.