February 13, 2017

Synaxarion of the Holy Apostles and Martyrs Aquila and Priscilla of the Seventy

Sts. Aquila and Priscilla (Feast Day - February 13)


For February 13
The beheading of a woman, Aquila saw,
Does she not behave manly, approaching beheading like a man?

For July 14
Paul laid out his words like a net,
Catching as prey divine Aquila.
On the fourteenth Aquila was hidden in a grave.

The Holy Apostle Aquila was from the area of the Black Sea, and was a tent-maker by trade, during the reign of Emperor Claudius (41-54). He heard the Holy Apostle Paul preach while he was in Corinth, and the divine Paul went to Aquila who was in Corinth. As it is written in Acts: "After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth, where he met a Jew called Aquila whose family came from Pontus. He and his wife Priscilla had recently left Italy because an edict of Claudius had expelled all the Jews from Rome. Paul went to visit them, and when he found they were tent-makers, of the same trade as himself, he lodged with them, and they worked together" (Acts 18:1-3). Having therefore met the Apostle Paul, he was baptized by him, together with his wife Priscilla. Thereafter they followed and served Paul, facing dangers together and undergoing temptations wherever they followed him.

Paul loved these two Apostles so much, first because of their virtue and also because of their faith in Christ, that he refers to them three times in his epistles. In his Epistle to the Romans he says: "Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them" (Rom. 16:3-4). In 1 Corinthians he wrote: "Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house" (1 Cor. 16:19). And in 2 Timothy: "Greet Priscilla and Aquila" (2 Tim. 4:19). In this way these blessed ones conducted their service to Christ and the blessed Paul, and they worked many miracles. Later they were captured by unbelievers and beheaded, and so they passed from the earth to the heavens. Saint Aquila is also celebrated separately on the fourteenth of July.

Apolytikion in the First Tone
As a disciple and companion of Paul, you received in your soul the grace of preaching. You shone in the night of error and struggled for the Lord’s glory. Sacred minister of the Savior, Aquila, we all acclaim you.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
The Church has acquired you, O Aquila, who shine like a great sun. With the splendor of your teaching, she enlightens those who honor you with faith, glorious Apostle of the Lord.