January 4, 2010

Synaxis of the Holy Seventy Apostles

Synaxis of the Holy Seventy Apostles (Feast Day - January 4)

By St. Dimitri of Rostov

After choosing the Twelve, Christ the Lord selected seventy lesser apostles and sent them out to preach, as the holy Evangelist Luke writes: After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also; and sent them two and two before His face. The Twelve generally remained at Christ’s side, serving as witnesses to His life; but the Seventy preceded Him in every place He visited. We do not know the names of all the original Seventy, for, as Saint John the Evangelist tells us, the time came when many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him. Then said Jesus unto the Twelve, Will ye also go away? As the Lord’s Passion approached, the number of His disciples decreased further: hardly any of the Seventy remained, and one of the Twelve betrayed Him. After the Resurrection Matthias was numbered with the Twelve, while the ranks of the Seventy were gradually filled with men newly converted to piety by the Twelve Apostles and Saint Paul, who was called by heaven to preside (with Saint Peter) over the apostolic choir.

At the beginning of the printed version of the Book of Acts and in The Prologue, the Seventy Apostles are identified in a listing ascribed to the holy hieromartyr Dorotheus, Bishop of Tyre. However, some of the men mentioned in the roll, while apostles at first, later fell from the faith and the dignity of their office. Such were Nicholas, the proselyte of Antioch (one of the seven deacons, who apostatized with Simon Magus); Phygellus; Hermogenes; and Demus, about whom Saint Paul writes to Timothy: This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes; and, Demus hath forsaken me, having loved this present world. Later, Demus became a heathen priest in Thessalonica. Of these men Saint John the Theologian wrote in his First General Epistle, They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us. They proved themselves unworthy to be included among the saints whose synaxis we celebrate today, for what communion hath light with darkness? Furthermore, the Holy Church includes in the calendar of saints and reveres as apostles of the Seventy a number of holy men (such as Timothy, Titus, Epaphras, Archippus, Aquila, Olympas, Quadratus, and Achaicus) missing from the list preserved under Dorotheus’ name. Because of these and other deficiencies and uncertainties in the enumeration ascribed to Saint Dorotheus, we have carefully investigated the divine Scriptures, the traditions handed down by the Fathers, and the accounts of trustworthy ecclesiastical historians and chroniclers and compiled the following roster of holy apostles commemorated on this day:

I. Saint James, Brother of the Lord (Commemorated October 23)

The holy Apostle Paul refers to James in the Epistle to the Galatians, saying, I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, but other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother. Saint James was appointed Bishop of Jerusalem by the Lord Himself. The Jews hurled him from the pinnacle of the Temple for preaching Christ. He was injured, but not killed, when he struck the pavement below, so one of the Pharisees shattered his skull with a club, finishing him.

II. Saint Mark the Evangelist (April 25)

Mark wrote his Gospel under the direction of Saint Peter and is mentioned by that Apostle in his First General Epistle. Peter writes, The church that is at Babylon saluteth you; and so doth Mark my son. Peter ordained Mark Bishop of Alexandria. The idolaters of that city bound him, dragged him over jagged rocks, and beat him; whereupon, the Lord appeared, summoned him to heavenly glory, and received his spirit.

III. Saint Luke the Evangelist (October 18)

Luke wrote his Gospel under the guidance of the holy Apostle Paul, who mentions him in the Epistle to the Colossians, saying, Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you. Saint Luke also wrote the Acts of the Apostles. After toiling greatly in Christ’s service, Luke completed his labors in Thebes, a city of Boetia, where he was martyred.

IV. Saint Cleopas, Younger Brother of Joseph the Betrothed (October 30)

In his Gospel, Saint Luke writes that Cleopas was one of the two disciples to whom the Lord appeared on the road to Emmaus after His Resurrection. Luke was the other, although he does not mention his own name. Cleopas was subsequently slain by the Jews for preaching Christ, the murder taking place in the very house where the risen Lord was known by him in the breaking of bread.

V. Saint Symeon, Kinsman of the Lord (September 17 and April 27)

Saint Symeon was the second Bishop of Jerusalem, James’ successor. He was crucified for the crucified Christ.

VI. Saint Barnabas, Also Known as Joses (June 11)

According to the fourth chapter of the Book of Acts, this saint was surnamed Barnabas by the apostles. He is also mentioned in the second chapter of the Epistle to the Galatians, wherein Saint Paul writes, I went up to Jerusalem with Barnabas. Laboring in the ministry of the word, he was first (with Saint Paul) to preach Christ in Rome. He became Bishop of Milan and met his end on Cyprus, his homeland, being stoned by Greeks and Jews. Saint Barnabas was buried with a copy of Saint Matthew’s Gospel which he had written with his own hand.

VII. Saint Joses or Joseph, Also Called Barsabas and Justus (October 30)

Joses was one of the two candidates chosen as possible replacements for the fallen Judas (the other was Matthias). Saint Paul refers to him in the Epistle to the Colossians as Jesus, which is called Justus. The teachers of the Church say that Joses was a son of Joseph the Betrothed, like James, Simon, and Judas (not Iscariot). He became Bishop of Eleutheropolis and died a martyr.

VIII. Saint Thaddaeus (August 21)

Thaddaeus was first a disciple of Saint John the Forerunner, then of Christ. He is not to be confused with the holy Apostle Jude or Judas Thaddaeus, also known as Lebbaeus. Thaddaeus baptized Abgar, Prince of Edessa, and cleansed him of leprosy. After laboring much in proclaiming the gospel of Christ, he reposed in the Lord in the Phoenician city of Beirut.

IX. Saint Ananias (October 1)

The holy Ananias baptized Saint Paul and was Bishop of Damascus. Lucian, Governor of Eleutheropolis, had him put to death by stoning outside that city.

X. Saint Stephen, Protomartyr and Archdeacon (December 27)

Saint Stephen was stoned by the Jews for preaching the Lord Jesus Christ, Whom he beheld standing in the heavens.

XI. Saint Philip, One of the Seven Deacons (October 11)

Philip baptized Simon Magus (in Samaria) and Candace’s eunuch. He became Bishop of Tralles in Asia Minor, enlightened many in the faith, and departed unto eternal life in great old age.

XII. Saint Prochorus, One of the Seven Deacons (July 28)

Prochorus was Saint John the Theologian’s companion and fellow-laborer. He became the first Bishop of Nicomedia in Bithynia and suffered martyrdom while preaching Christ in Antioch.

XIII. Saint Nicanor, One of the Seven Deacons (December 27 and July 28)

Saint Nicanor, with two thousand other Christians, was slain for Christ on the same day as the holy protomartyr Stephen, as related in the Acts of the Apostles, which states, At that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem.

XIV. Saint Timon, One of the Seven Deacons (July 28 and December 30)

Timon was Bishop of Bostra in Arabia. He suffered greatly at the hands of the Jews for preaching Christ. Cast into a fiery furnace, he emerged unharmed, then departed unto the Lord.

XV. Saint Parmenas, One of the Seven Deacons (July 28)

Parmenas was slain before the eyes of the other apostles while preaching the gospel.

XVI. Saint Timothy (January 22)

Timothy, the Bishop of Ephesus, helped Saint Paul spread the gospel and received letters from him.

XVII. Saint Titus (August 25)

Titus, the Bishop of Gortyna in Crete, also labored with Saint Paul in proclaiming the gospel and received a letter from him.

XVIII. Saint Philemon (November 22)

Philemon, the recipient of one of Saint Paul’s letters, was Bishop of Gaza.

XIX. Saint Onesimus (February 15)

The holy Onesimus, mentioned by Paul in his epistle to Philemon, was tortured by Tertillus, Prefect of Rome, and died in Puteoli.

XX. Saint Epaphras

Epaphras is also mentioned by Saint Paul in the Epistle to Philemon. Paul states, "Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus, saluteth thee." Epaphras was Bishop of Colossae and also of the churches of Laodicea and Hierapolis. He shared Paul’s captivity in Rome, whence the great Apostle wrote the Colossians, Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal of you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.

XXI. Saint Archippus (November 22 and February 19)

Archippus, like Onesimus and Epaphras, is mentioned in the Epistle to Philemon. While Saint Epaphras was being held at Rome in fetters, Archippus succeeded him as Bishop of Colossae. Archippus was tending the flock of Christ in that city when Saint Paul wrote him this reminder: Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.

XXII. Saint Silas (July 30)

With Saint Paul, the holy Silas preached the word of God, was flogged, and imprisoned. The Acts of the Apostles relates that Paul chose Silas and departed, confirming the churches. Silas became Bishop of Corinth and greatly labored proclaiming the gospel. After working numerous miracles, he departed to the Lord.

XXIII. Saint Silvanus (July 30)

Silvanus transcribed Saint Peter’s First General Epistle, as the chief Apostle states: By Silvanus, a faithful brother, I have written. In his Second Epistle to the Corinthians, Saint Paul testifies that Silvanus assisted him in teaching the word of God. The Son of God, Jesus Christ, he says, was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus. As Bishop of Thessalonica, Silvanus suffered much for the faith, then departed to Christ, the Ruler of the contest.

XXIV. Saint Crescens (July 30)

Saint Crescens is mentioned by Paul in his Second Epistle to Timothy. "Crescens," he says, "I sent to preach in Galatia." After serving as bishop in Galatia, he proclaimed Christ in Gaul and appointed his disciple Zacharias Bishop of Vienne. Returning to Galatia, he was martyred during Trajan’s reign.

XXV. Saint Crispus

According to the Acts of the Apostles, Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house. This Crispus is the same as the one referred to by Saint Paul in the First Epistle to the Corinthians. I baptized Crispus, writes the great Apostle. Crispus became Bishop of Aegina, an island near the Peloponnesus.

XXVI. Saint Epaenetus (July 30)

Saint Epaenetus, Bishop of Carthage, is mentioned by Saint Paul in the Epistle to the Romans, in which he writes, Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.

XXVII. Saint Andronicus (February 22, May 17, and July 30)

Saint Paul says in the same epistle, Salute Andronicus, calling him his kinsman and fellowprisoner. Andronicus, eminent among the apostles, believed in Christ before Paul and was Bishop of Pannonia.

XXVIII. Saint Stachys (October 31)

Saint Stachys is also mentioned in the Epistle to the Romans, in which Paul writes, Salute Stachys my beloved. Stachys was appointed first Bishop of Byzantium by the Apostle Andrew the First-called. His church was located in Argyropolis.

XXIX. Saint Amplias (October 31)

In the same letter, Paul requests that salutations be conveyed to Amplias, saying, Greet Amplias my beloved in the Lord. Amplias preached Christ in Diospolis and became bishop of that city. He was put to death in Odessos by the pagans.

XXX. Saint Urbane (October 31)

Again, this saint is mentioned in the Epistle to the Romans, in which Paul writes, Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ. Urbane was bishop in Macedonia and died a martyr.

XXXI. Saint Narcissus (October 31)

Saint Paul remembers Narcissus as well in the Epistle to the Romans. Greet them that be of the household of Narcissus, which are in the Lord, he says. Narcissus was Bishop of Athens.

XXXII. Saint Apelles (October 31)

Paul sends greetings to Apelles in the same letter, saying, Salute Apelles approved in Christ. Apelles was Bishop of Heracleia.

XXXIII. Saint Aristobulus (March 16 and October 31)

Saint Aristobulus is also mentioned in the Epistle to the Romans, where Paul writes, Salute them which are of Aristobulus’ household. Aristobulus served as bishop in Britain where he labored greatly and suffered martyrdom.

XXXIV. Saint Herodian (April 8 and November 10)

In the Epistle to the Romans, Saint Paul writes, Salute Herodian my kinsman. Herodian was Bishop of Patras.

XXXV. Saint Agabus (April 8)

Saint Agabus possessed the gift of prophecy. In the Acts of the Apostles it is written that there came down from Judea a certain prophet, named Agabus. And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Spirit, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.

XXXVI. Saint Rufus (April 8)

Saint Rufus was Bishop of Thebes in Greece. He is mentioned in the Epistle to the Romans by Saint Paul, who writes, Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord.

XXXVII. Saint Asyncritus (April 8)

Saint Asyncritus served as Bishop of Hyrcani in Asia Minor, and is also mentioned in the Epistle to the Romans.

XXXVIII. Saint Phlegon (April 8)

Saint Phlegon is mentioned in the Epistle to the Romans as well. He was Bishop of Marathon, a town in Thrace.

XXXIX. Saint Hermas (March 8 and November 5)

Saint Hermas, mentioned in the same epistle, was Bishop of Philippopolis.

XL. Saint Patrobas (November 5)

Saint Patrobas, also referred to in the Epistle to the Romans, was Bishop of Naples and Puteoli.

XLI. Saint Hermes (April 8 and May 31)

Paul mentions Hermes, who was a bishop in Dalmatia, with the four preceding saints in this passage from his letter to the Romans: "Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, and Hermes."

XLII. Saint Linus (November 5)

Linus, Bishop of Rome after Saint Peter, is mentioned by the holy Paul in his Second Epistle to Timothy.

XLIII. Saint Gaius (November 5)

Saint Gaius was Timothy’s successor as Bishop of Ephesus. The following passage referring to him is found in the Epistle to the Romans: Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you.

XLIV. Saint Philologus (November 5)

Philologus is mentioned in the same letter by Paul, who says, Salute Philologus. This saint was appointed Bishop of Sinope by the Apostle Andrew.

XLV. Saint Lucius (September 10)

Lucius, mentioned in the same letter, was Bishop of Laodicea in Syria.

XLVI. Saint Jason (April 28)

Saint Jason, to whom there is also a reference in the Epistle to the Romans, was Bishop of Tarsus.

XLVII. Saint Sosipater (April 28)

Saint Sosipater, Bishop of Iconium, is mentioned with the two preceding apostles by Paul in this passage from the Epistle to the Romans: Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you.

XLIX. Saint Olympas (November 10)

Saint Paul refers to Olympas in the same letter. Olympas was present at the holy Apostle Peter’s crucifixion and was subsequently executed with the Apostle Herodion by Nero, as Symeon Metaphrastes writes in his account for June 29, the day on which Saints Peter and Paul are commemorated.

XLIX. Saint Tertius (October 10 and November 10)

Saint Tertius transcribed the Epistle to the Romans for Saint Paul, adding this note: I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord. Tertius was Sosipater’s successor as Bishop of Iconium, where he received the crown of martyrdom.

L. Saint Erastus (November 30)

Erastus is mentioned with the others in Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. He was first steward of the Church of Jerusalem, then Bishop of Paneas.

LI. Saint Quartus (November 10)

Saint Quartus was Bishop of Beirut and is mentioned with Erastus by Saint Paul in the following passage from the Epistle to the Romans: Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother.

LII. Saint Evodus (September 7)

Saint Evodus was Bishop of Antioch after the Apostle Peter. Saint Ignatius the God-bearer mentions him in his Epistle to the Antiochians, saying, "Remember the blessed Evodus, your father, who was confirmed as your first pastor by the apostles."

LIII. Saint Onesiphorus (September 7 and December 8)

Saint Paul refers to Onesiphorus in the following passage from his Second Epistle to Timothy: The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chains. Onesiphorus was Bishop of Colophon and Cyrene.

LIV. Saint Clement (November 25)

In his Epistle to the Philippians, Saint Paul writes about "the women which laboured with me and with Clement also." Clement was Bishop of Rome after the holy Apostle Peter, Linus, and Anacletus. He was banished to Cherson and drowned in the sea.

LV. Saint Sosthenes (December 8 and March 30)

Saint Sosthenes was leader of the synagogue of Corinth after Saint Crispus. In the Acts of the Apostles it says that the Greeks took Sosthenes, chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. Sosthenes was converted by Saint Paul, who opens his First Epistle to the Corinthians with these words: Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, to the church of God which is at Corinth. Later, Sosthenes became Bishop of Colophon.

LVI. Saint Apollos (March 30 and December 8)

It is written in the Acts of the Apostles that a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord. Paul mentions Apollos in the First Epistle to the Corinthians. I have planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase, he says. Apollos was Saint Polycarp’s predecessor as Bishop of Smyrna.

LVII. Saint Tychicus (December 8)

Saint Tychicus’ name appears in the Acts of the Apostles, and in Saint Paul’s letters to the Colossians and the Ephesians. In the Epistle to the Ephesians the great Apostle writes: That ye also may know mine affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things: whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts. Saint Paul also says in the Second Epistle to Timothy, Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus. Tychicus was Sosthenes’ successor as Bishop of Colophon.

LVIII. Saint Epaphroditus (March 30 and December 8)

Saint Epaphroditus, Bishop of Hadriacus, is mentioned in the Epistle to the Philippians by Saint Paul, who writes, I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, but your apostle, and he that ministered to my wants.

LIX. Saint Carpus (May 26)

In his Second Epistle to Timothy, Saint Paul requests, The phelonion that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books. Carpus was Bishop of Berroia in Macedonia.

LX. Saint Quadratus (September 21)

Quadratus preached the word of the Lord in Athens and Magnesia, and was bishop of both cities. The Athenians put him to death during the reign of Hadrian.

LXI. Saint Mark, or John (September 27)

Saint Mark, the companion of Barnabas and Saul, appears frequently in the Acts of the Apostles, for example, in this passage: Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark. This Apostle, whose shadow healed the sick, was Bishop of Byblus in Phoenicia.

LXII. Saint Zenas (September 27)

Zenas, a teacher of the Law of Moses, was Bishop of Diospolis. In his Epistle to Titus, Saint Paul writes, Bring Zenas the lawyer diligently.

LXIII. Saint Aristarchus (April 15 and September 27)

Saint Aristarchus, Bishop of Apamea in Syria, is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles and in Saint Paul’s letters to the Colossians and to Philemon.

LXIV. Saint Pudens (April 15)

In his Second Epistle to Timothy, Saint Paul conveys greetings from Pudens. A pious Roman senator, Pudens lodged the holy apostles Peter and Paul (with many other Christians) in his home. Puden’s house became known as "The Shepherd’s Church." It is said that Saint Peter presided over divine services there.

LXV. Saint Trophimus (April 15)

Saint Trophimus is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles and in the Second Epistle to Timothy, in which Saint Paul states that he left Trophimus at Miletum sick. Pudens, Aristarchus, and Trophimus followed Paul and witnessed his sufferings. Then, following the great Apostle’s execution, they too were beheaded by Nero in Rome.

LXVI. Saint Marcus (October 30)

Saint Marcus, Bishop of Apolliana, was Barnabas’ nephew. He and Aristarchus are mentioned by Saint Paul in the following passage from the Epistle to the Colossians: Aristarchus my fellow-prisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas.

LXVII. Saint Artemas (October 30)

In the Epistle to Titus, Saint Paul writes, I shall send Artemas unto thee. Artemas was Bishop of Lystra.

LXVIII. Saint Aquila (July 14)

Saint Aquila is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles and by Paul. He was Bishop of Heraclea, preached the word of God in Asia Minor and Achaia, and was killed by unbelievers.

LXIX. Saint Fortunatus (June 15)

Fortunatus is mentioned by Saint Paul in his First Epistle to the Corinthians. After laboring greatly in preaching the word of God, he reposed in the Lord.

LXX. Saint Achaicus

Saint Paul refers to Achaicus and Fortunatus in the same passage, saying, I am glad of the coming of Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied. For they have refreshed my spirit, and yours.

Two additional apostles are sometimes numbered with the Seventy, bringing the total to seventy-two, the number mentioned in the variant reading of the Gospel, according to which the Lord appeared unto the other seventy-two.

LXXI. Saint Dionysius the Areopagite (October 3)

Saint Dionysius appears in the Acts of the Apostles, was Bishop of Athens, and later proclaimed Christ in Gaul where he was beheaded. Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea of Palestine, explains that "Dionysius the Areopagite, converted by Paul’s preaching in Athens (according to Luke’s testimony in the Acts of the Apostles), became a member of the apostolic choir."

LXXII. Saint Simeon Niger

This saint is also mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles by Luke, who writes, Now there were in the church that was at Antioch, certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon, that was called Niger. We are assured by Saint Epiphanias that this Simeon was an apostle. The great hierarch of Cyprus writes, "Mark, Luke, Justus, Barnabas, Apelles, Rufus, and Niger are all among the seventy-two apostles."

In The Ochtoechos, Saint John of Damascus confirms that there were seventy-two lesser apostles. He chants, "The all-praised ten and twain, leading the seventy-two, their rivals in zeal, were manifested as perfect." By the prayers of all the apostles, may we be deemed worthy of our heavenly calling, find an abode among the saints, and behold the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus, Who is praised with God the Father and the Holy Spirit unto ages of ages. Amen.

Besides the holy apostles listed here, there were in those days many saints equal to them in holiness. Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, writes in the twentieth chapter of his first book: "The names of Christ’s twelve apostles are in the Gospels for all to read, but no list has ever been found of the Seventy. In addition to the Seventy there were other disciples, as is evident if one considers Saint Paul’s statement in the First Epistle to the Corinthians to the effect that Christ was seen after His Resurrection first of Cephas, then of the Twelve. After that He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain unto this present: but some are fallen asleep." Of the other disciples, many labored in spreading Christ’s gospel in the earliest days of the Church, illumining various lands with the light of faith, as did the apostles. Since these holy men were worthy of the title "apostle," we shall mention some of them here.

I. Saint Lazarus (October 17)

Lazarus, who was dead four days and raised by the Lord, received the Holy Spirit with the apostles when tongues of fire descended at Pentecost. After Stephen’s death, when there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem, he fled the Holy Land in a sailboat, accompanied by Saint Maximin, the Lord’s disciple, and Saint Celidonius, the man born blind and granted sight by the Saviour. God guided the boat to Massilia where Lazarus proclaimed the apostolic teaching. Lazarus then became Bishop of Kition in Cyprus, and there departed this life in peace. Many years later his holy remains were found in a marble casket bearing this inscription: "Christ’s friend Lazarus, who was dead four days." As for Maximin, he became the first Bishop of Libia in Gaul, in which town he preached the doctrines of the apostles. Saint Celidonius, Maximin’s helper and fellow-preacher, died in Gaul and is listed by some historians as one of the seventy-two apostles.

II. Saint Joseph of Arimathea (3rd Sunday of Pascha)

Joseph of Arimathea was Jesus’ disciple and begged Pilate to give him the Lord’s immaculate body after the Crucifixion. For this he was expelled by the Jews from their land. He spread the gospel in Britain and died in that country, where he is regarded as an apostle.

III. Saint Nicodemus (3rd Sunday of Pascha)

Saint Nicodemus came to Jesus by night and gave the Jews the good advice not to judge the Lord without hearing Him or knowing the truth about His deeds. He brought burial spices and reverently helped Joseph bury Jesus’ body. Because he preached Christ, the Jews drove him into hiding.

IV. Saint Gamaliel (August 2)

Gamaliel was Paul’s teacher and piously counseled the Jews not to interfere with the apostles’ preaching, saying, If this counsel or work be of God, ye cannot overthrow it. Later the apostles converted him, and he provided food and refuge for Nicodemus until the end of that saint’s life. He buried the holy fugitive near the protomartyr Stephen.

V. The Holy Eunuch of Queen Candace

This saintly eunuch was baptized by Saint Philip. He was the first apostle to Ethiopia and preacher of Christ in that country, where he converted the Queen and died a martyr.

VI. Saint Zacchaeus (last Sunday before the Lenten Triodion begins)

Saint Zacchaeus had the joy of receiving the Lord into his home and hearing Him say, This day is salvation come to this house. After Christ’s Ascension, Zacchaeus accompanied Saint Peter, who consecrated him Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine. There Zacchaeus preached Christ like an apostle.

VII. Saint Cornelius the Centurion (September 13)

Cornelius, who was baptized by Saint Peter, converted his house in Caesarea into a church. Peter appointed him bishop of that city and successor to Zacchaeus.

VIII. Saint Longinus the Centurion (October 16)

Witnessing the Lord’s Crucifixion, Longinus believed and confessed that Jesus is truly the Son of God. He also testified to the truth of the Resurrection, proclaiming Christ in Cappadocia like an apostle. Longinus died a martyr.

IX. Saint Ignatius the God-bearer or the God-borne (December 20 and January 29)

Saint Ignatius was the child whom the Lord took into His arms. Ignatius proclaimed the apostolic teaching in Antioch, becoming bishop of that city after Saint Peter. He was fed to the lions in Rome.

X. Saint Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna (February 23)

In his Life of Saint Ignatius the God-bearer, the blessed Symeon Metaphrastes calls Polycarp a divine apostle. He writes, "Reaching Smyrna, Ignatius greeted Saint Polycarp, the divine Apostle who had been his fellow-disciple, but became bishop of that city."

XI. Saint Aristion

According to the historians Nicephorus and Eusebius, Saint Papias, Bishop of Hierapolis, stated in his writings that Aristion, Bishop of Smyrna and younger contemporary of the Twelve Apostles, was one of the Lord’s disciples.

XII. Saint Hierotheus (October 4)

Saint Hierotheus was instructed in the faith and made Bishop of Athens by the holy Apostle Paul. A cloud transported him to join the choir of the apostles at the Dormition of the immaculate Mother of God.

XIII. Saint Antipas, Bishop of Pergamos (April 11)

Saint Antipas suffered for Christ and the teaching of the apostles, as Christ the Lord Himself witnesses in the Revelation of Saint John the Theologian, saying, Antipas My faithful martyr was slain.

XIV. Saint Demetrius

Demetrius was Bishop of Philadelphia in Asia Minor. He is mentioned in the following passage from the Third Epistle of Saint John the Theologian: Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself; yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true.

XV. Saint Mnason

In the Acts of the Apostles, we read about Mnason the Cypriot, of whom Saint Luke writes the following: There went with us also certain of the disciples of Caesarea, and brought with them one Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple, with whom we should lodge. Some authorities are of the opinion that Mnason was the same person as Jason.

Even if the names of the brethren who saw the risen Lord and the other holy disciples who helped the apostles are nowhere recorded on earth, we may be certain they are written in heaven. We can rely on the testimony of Saint Paul, who says in the fourth chapter of his Epistle to the Philippians: Help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with other my fellow-labourers, whose names are in the book of life.

As noted earlier, there are errors in the list of the Seventy Apostles attributed to Saint Dorotheus, including the repetition of four names. A "Rodion" is included, and it is alleged that he is mentioned by Saint Paul, but this is not the case. Any Rodion can only be the same person as Herodion. Similarly, the names Apollos, Tychicus, and Aristarchus are mistakenly repeated.

In the same register, Cleopas is identified as being the same as Symeon, and Crispus as Crescens. The Prologue states that Symeon was the same as Simon, who, like James, Joses, and Jude, was a son of Joseph the Betrothed. But the ancient and trustworthy ecclesiastical historians Eusebius Pamphilus, Nicephorus Callistus Xanthopoulus, and George Kedrinus, following the earlier historian Hegesippus, write that Cleopas was younger brother to Saint Joseph the Betrothed, and that Symeon was the son of Cleopas and cousin of James, Brother of the Lord, whom he succeeded as Bishop of Jerusalem. Simon, James’ brother, was neither an apostle of the Seventy (like James and Joses) nor of the Twelve (like Jude, who was the same as Thaddaeus). Simon departed this life before the apostles dispersed to various lands, as did certain other disciples, of whom Saint Paul writes, The greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. Such details are subject to ecclesiastical review and judgment, but it is certain that Cleopas and Symeon are not the same person.

In the list attributed to Dorotheus, a Crispus appears, a bishop in Galatia supposedly mentioned by Saint Paul in his Second Epistle to Timothy. Actually, it is to Crescens that Paul refers in that letter, and he is to be distinguished from Crispus, who was the chief ruler of the synagogue mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles and Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians. Again, the list counts as one of the Seventy the Caesar mentioned by the Apostle Paul. Writing from Rome to the Philippians, Paul refers to the household of the ruling Caesar Nero, but nowhere to a disciple of the Lord called Caesar. The holy teachers Chrysostom and Theodoretus both confirm that the Caesar in question was the Emperor. Saint John Chrysostom writes, "Paul, to encourage the Philippians, informs them that the gospel had reached even the Emperor’s palace. He makes it clear that if eminent courtiers had forsaken all for the sake of the King of heaven, the Philippians should much more be willing to do the same." And Saint Theodoretus explains: "Paul greatly gladdens the Philippians, telling them that the gospel held sway over the palace and was guiding the impious tyrant’s servants to life." Such are these holy teachers’ interpretations of the Apostle’s farewell to the Philippians: All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

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 Second Tone
With hymns let us praise the chorus of the Seventy disciples of Christ, ye faithful; and in godliness, let us keep a feast, for we learned through them to worship the Trinity, Who is indivisibly one; for they are the lamps of our most godly Faith.

From The Great Collection of the Lives of the Saints, Volume 5: January, compiled by St. Demetrius of Rostov