June 15, 2018

Holy Apostles Fortunatus, Achaicus and Stephanas of the Seventy

Sts. Fortunatus, Achaicus and Stephanas the Apostles (Feast Day - June 15)


To Fortunatus.
Fortunatus was the boast of the Apostles,
And of the Athletes, for he was beheaded.

To Achaicus.
You were released from hunger and thirst all-blessed one,
For you said like the Master from the wood "I thirst".

To Stephanas.
The work of Stephen I perceive in Stephanos,
Wearing the crown as a prize for labors.

Saints Fortunatus, Achaicus and Stephanas are mentioned by the Apostle Paul who, writing from Ephesus in I Corinthians 16:17-18, said: "I was glad when Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus arrived, because they have supplied what was lacking from you. For they refreshed my spirit and yours also. Such men deserve recognition." Thus they were all Corinthian Christians beloved by Paul who had together visited the Apostle Paul in Ephesus, carrying a letter to him (1 Cor. 7:1), and delivering the first epistle of Paul to the Corinthians back home.

Of the three, Stephanas is specifically mentioned by Paul in 1 Corinthians 16:15-16, "You know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the Lord’s people. I urge you, brothers and sisters, to submit to such people and to everyone who joins in the work and labors at it."

According to the iambic verses above, all three gained the crown of martyrdom.