April 8, 2011

Holy Apostles Herodion, Agabus, Asyncritus, Rufus, Phlegon and Hermes of the Seventy

Sts. Herodian, Agabus, Asyncritus, Rufus, Phlegon and Hermes of the 70 Apostles (Feast Day - April 8)

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

They were all numbered among the Seventy Apostles. All were mentioned by the Apostle Paul in his epistles.

Herodian was a kinsman of Paul. "Greet," writes St. Paul to the Romans, "my relative Herodian" (Romans 16:11). As the Bishop of Neo-Parthia, Herodian suffered much at the hands of the Jews. They beat him over the head with rods, they struck him on the mouth with stones and stabbed him with knives. After they left him for dead, St. Herodian arose and continued to serve the apostles. He assisted the Apostle Peter in Rome and was beheaded along with many other Christians the same day that St. Peter was crucified.

St. Agabus possessed a prophetic spirit. Two of his prophecies are recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. First, he prophesied a great famine throughout the world which came true during the reign of Caesar Claudius: "And one of them named Agabus stood up and predicted by the Spirit that there would be a severe famine all over the world and it happened under Claudius" (Acts of the Apostles 11:28). Second, when he met with the Apostle Paul in Caesarea, who was enroute to Jerusalem, Agabus took Paul's belt and bound his own hands and feet saying: "Thus says the Holy Spirit: This is the way the Jews will bind the owner of this belt in Jerusalem, and they will hand him over to the Gentiles" (Acts of the Apostles 21:11).

St. Rufus was a Bishop of Thebes in Greece. St. Paul also mentions him. "Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord" (Romans 16:13).

St. Asyncritus was Bishop of Hyrcania in Asia and is mentioned along with the others in Romans 16:14.

St. Phlegon is also mentioned in the same epistle. "Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas and Hermas and the brothers who are with them" (Romans 16:14). He was a bishop in the Thracian city of Marathon.

St. Hermas, mentioned with the others, was a bishop in Dalmatia.

All of them, like bees for Christ, spread the honey of the Gospel into the various regions, suffering much for the love of Christ. All were translated into the eternal kingdom of Christ the beloved.


Holy apostles, chosen ones of God,
You ran the race and reached the goal.
The vanity of the world, they despised; to God, they reached out,
The worldly they sacrificed, the eternal, they acquired.
Their love for Christ, stronger than all other powers,
To them, it shone through the darkness of paganism.
The race is over, the battle obtained,
The army of heroes brought to Christ.
In Christ there are many victorious wreaths,
Even if you want, you could be wedded.
Apostles holy, pray to God,
That He deprive us not of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Apolytkion in the First Tone
Let us praise in hymns the six–fold choir of Apostles: Herodian and Agabus,  Rufus, Asyncritus, Phlegon and holy Hermes. They ever entreat the Trinity for our souls!

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
With the light of the Holy Spirit, you illumine the way of the faithful like stars, O Holy Apostles. As you gaze on God the Word you repel the darkness of error.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
You became the disciples of Christ and all-holy Apostles, O glorious Herodian, Agabus and Rufus, Asyncritus, Phlegon and Hermes. Ever entreat the Lord to grant forgiveness of transgressions to us who sing your praises.

Apolytikion in the Third Tone
Holy Apostles entreat the merciful God to grant our souls forgiveness of transgressions.