September 21, 2016

Synaxarion of the Holy Apostle Kodratos at Magnesia

St. Kodratos the Apostle (Feast Day - September 21)


The mindless assailed Kodratos with stones,
Because to stones he would not pay reverence.
On the twenty-first Kodratos found the crown of the contest.

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Like an athlete Kodratos soundly preached,
And in the heavens received many prizes.
On the twenty-first Kodratos found the crown of the contest.

Kodratos (or Quadratus) was a wise and learned man who was one of the disciples of Christ.* Being enriched with the flaming grace of the Spirit, he was ordained Bishop of Athens, and brought many to the true faith of Christ.**

The wise Greeks, who took great pride in their wisdom, he bridled and put to shame with the grace of God and the power of his words.*** Therefore the persecutors of Christians punished him with stones, fire and other torments, and he was exiled from his see and his flock.

Entering the city of Magnesia, he drove away by his teachings the darkness of error. Finally, during the reign of Aelius Hadrian (117-138), he received the crown of martyrdom. His holy relic is in Magnesia, and is a rich source from which flows healings of all manner of diseases to all those who approach it with faith.


* The Synaxarion here identifies Kodratos with one of the disciples of the Apostles mentioned by Eusebius (Eccles. Hist. 3, 37), who was renowned for his prophetic gifts together with the daughters of the Apostle Philip. Eusebius called him a "man of understanding and of apostolic faith," and Jerome in Viri Illustrissimi intensified the apostolic connection, calling him "disciple of the apostles." We can thus say that by being a disciple of the apostles, he was a disciple of Christ, or as is known today, an apostolic father. Meanwhile, the Menologion of Basil II, although it also refers to him as an apostle, says that he was martyred during the reign of Decius in the mid-3rd century.

** Eusebius later summarises a letter by Dionysius of Corinth which simply states that Kodratos was appointed Bishop of Athens "after the martyrdom of Publius," and which states that "through his zeal they [the Athenian Christians] were brought together again and their faith revived" (Eccles. Hist. 4, 23). Kodratos was Bishop of Athens from 125-129 A.D.

*** Eusebius records (Eccles. Hist. 4, 3): "After Trajan had reigned for nineteen and a half years Aelius Hadrian became his successor in the empire. To him Kodratos addressed a discourse containing an apology for our religion, because certain wicked men had attempted to trouble the Christians. The work is still in the hands of a great many of the brethren, as also in our own, and furnishes clear proofs of the man's understanding and of his apostolic orthodoxy. He himself reveals the early date at which he lived in the following words: 'But the works of our Savior were always present, for they were genuine: those that were healed, and those that were raised from the dead, who were seen not only when they were healed and when they were raised, but were also always present; and not merely while the Savior was on earth, but also after his death, they were alive for quite a while, so that some of them lived even to our day.' Such then was Kodratos."

In other words, Eusebius is stating that Kodratos addressed a discourse to the Roman Emperor Hadrian containing a defense, or apologia, of the Christian religion. This apologia is now lost, with only this one quote by Eusebius preserved, though some scholars believe he may be the author of the Epistle to Diognetus. The mention that many of those healed or raised from the dead by Christ were still living seems to be part of an argument that Christ was no mere wonderworker whose effects were transitory. It appears with this defense that Kodratos was able to persuade the emperor to do no harm to Christians, though this was probably a temporary of local persuasion.

Apolytikion in the Third Tone
O Holy Apostle Kodratos, intercede with the merciful God that He grant unto our souls forgiveness of offences.

Another Apolytikion in the First Tone
Thy life became radiant with wisdom; thou didst draw down the fire of the Spirit, and discern the doctrines of life, Kodratos, Apostle of Christ. We cry to thee as to an enlightener: Glory to Christ Who has glorified thee; glory to Him Who has crowned thee: glory to Him Who through thee works healings for all.

Kontakion in Plagal of the Fourth Tone
O Lord, the world offers to Thee the Apostle Kodratos as a holy Hierarch and Martyr. As we hymn his memory we pray Thee to grant forgiveness to those who sing: Alleluia.

Another Kontakion in Plagal of the Fourth Tone
As a most honoured hierarch and athlete of great fortitude, the world doth offer Apostle Kodratos now to Thee, O Lord most merciful; as with hymns it doth honour his all-ven'rable memory, it doth ask of Thee through him to grant forgiveness of failings to them that sing his praise.

The Holy Apostle Kodratos

By St. Nikolai Velimerovich

St. Kodratos, like the morning star,
Shone forth the light of the Holy Gospel,
Shone forth rays through the thick darkness,
And grace upon empty hearts.
Kodratos dispelled the confusion of men's thoughts,
Illumining the forebodings in men's hearts,
Illumining them with the light of Christ,
And enlightening the world with Christ's wisdom.
Unbelievers converted to the Most-high God,
And received cruel wounds for Christ.
To Hadrian, the persecutor of the Cross,
Kodratos wrote a great defense
With the eloquence and the skill of the Hellenes
And the simplicity of Christian truth.
Kodratos succeeded: the emperor was persuaded
To protect the Holy Church from evil.
O Kodratos, Christ's disciple,
Wise defender of the Holy Church,
In word and deed, you were God's servant-
With unfading glory, you are now crowned!
To you, we Christians pray fervently:
Help us, O holy Apostle!
Help us to overcome misfortunes,
And to endure all sufferings for Christ.