July 30, 2018

Holy Apostles Silas, Silouan, Epainetos, Crescens and Andronikos of the Seventy

Holy Apostles Silas, Silouan, Epainetos, Crescens and Andronikos (Feast Day - July 30)


To Silas and Silouan.
Your proclaimers Silouan and Silas,
Died O Savior, how can I not proclaim it?

To Epainetos.
The great Paul who loved you historicized you,
The good official of all Achaia.

To Crescens and Andronikos.
Crescens and Andronikos the initiates of the Word,
Now behold the face of God the Word.

On the thirtieth four initiates of God died.

Saint Silas was a respected figure in the original Church at Jerusalem, one of the “chief men among the brethren” (Acts 15:22). The Council of the Apostles was convened at Jerusalem in the year 51 to deal with the question of whether Gentile Christian converts should be required to observe the Mosaic Law. Together with Saints Paul and Barnabas, the Council of the Apostles sent Saints Silas and Jude to explain the message in greater detail, since they both were filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit. Saint Jude was later sent back to Jerusalem, but Saint Silas remained at Antioch and zealously assisted Saint Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, on his missionary journeys preaching the Gospel. They visited Syria, Cilicia, and Macedonia.

In the city of Philippi they were accused of inciting unrest among the people, and for this they were arrested, beaten with rods, and then thrown into prison. At midnight, when the Saints were at prayer, suddenly there was a strong earthquake, their chains fell off from them and the doors of the prison opened. The prison guard, supposing that the prisoners had fled, wanted to kill himself, but was stopped by the Apostle Paul. Then, he fell down trembling at the feet of the Saints, and with faith accepted their preaching about Christ. He then led them out of the prison and took them to his own home, where he washed their wounds, and was baptized together with all his household.

From Philippi Saints Paul and Silas proceeded on to the cities of Amphipolis, Apollonia and Thessalonica. In each city they made new converts to Christ and built up the Church. At Corinth the holy Apostle Silas was consecrated bishop, and worked many miracles and signs. He finished his life there.

The Holy Apostle Silouan, or Silvanus, preached the word of God together with the chief Apostles Peter and Paul. In his First Epistle, the holy Apostle Peter makes mention of him: “By Silouan, a faithful brother to you, as I suppose, I have written briefly...” (1 Peter 5:12). Saint Silouan was made Bishop at Thessalonica and died there a martyr, having undergone many sorrows and misfortunes for the Lord’s sake.

The Holy Apostle Epainetos was made bishop at Carthage. In his Epistle to the Romans, the holy Apostle Paul writes: “Greet my dear Epainetos, who is the first-fruits of Achaia unto Christ” (Rom. 16:5).

The Holy Apostle Crescens is mentioned by the holy Apostle Paul (2 Tim. 4:10), saying that Crescens had gone preaching to Galatia. He was made bishop there, and afterwards he preached the word of God in Gaul (modern France). In the city of Vienna (modern Austria) the holy Apostle Crescens established his student Zacharias as bishop. Having returned to Galatia, he died as a martyr under the emperor Trajan (98-117).

The Apostle Andronikos is mentioned by Saint Paul: “Salute Andronikos and Junia, my kinsmen, ... who are of note among the Apostles, who also were in Christ before me” (Rom. 16:7). The holy Apostle Andronikos was bishop in Pannonia (modern Hungary). Saints Andronikos and Junia are also commemorated on May 17 and the finding of their relics on February 22.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Let us praise the divine Apostles, Crescens, Silouan, Silas, Andronikos and Epainetos. Like rational heavens they shone with the glory of Him Who humbled Himself for our sake. They entreat Christ that all may be saved.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
You appeared as branches of the vine of Christ, bearing virtues as clusters of wisdom, pouring on us the wine of salvation. Receiving it we are filled with joy, and celebrate your venerable memory. Pray that our sins may be forgiven, O Apostles of the Lord.