Science of the Saints, 4 January, Synaxis of 70 Apostles


The Synaxis (Assemblage) of the Seventy Disciples (“Apostles”) was established by the Church so as to indicate the equal honour of each of the Seventy, and to avert dissonance in their veneration. They were chosen by the Lord Jesus Christ, in order to evangelise the Gospel to all the world.

Besides the celebration of the Synaxis of the Holy Disciples, the Church celebrates the memory of each of them during the course of the year: the Disciple James, Brother of the Lord (23 October); Mark the Evangelist (25 April); Luke the Evangelist (18 October); Cleopas, brother of Joseph the Betrothed, and Simeon his son (27 April); Barnabas (11 June); Josiah, or Joseph, named Barsaba or Justus (30 October); Thaddeus (21 August); Ananias (1 October); Stephen, Archdeacon (27 December); Philip from the 7 Deacons (11 October); Prochorus from the 7 Deacons (28 July); Nicanor from the 7 Deacons (28 July and 28 December); Timon from the 7 Deacons (28 July and 30 December); Parmenas from the 7 Deacons (28 June); Timothy (22 January); Titus (25 August); Philemon (22 November and 19 February); Onisimus (15 February); Epaphrasus and Archippus (22 November and 19 February); Silas, Sylvanus, Criscentus or Criscus (30 July); Crispus and Epenetos (30 July); Andronicus (17 May and 30 July); Stakhias, Amplias, Urban, Narcissos, Apellias (31 October); Aristoboulos (31 October and 16 March); Herodion or Rodion (8 April and 10 November); Ahab, Rufus, Asinkritos, Phlegontos (8 April); Hermas (5 November and 31 May); Patrobus (5 November); Hermias (8 April); Linus, Caius, Philologos (5 November); Lucius (10 September); Jason (28 April); Sosipater (28 April and 10 November); Olympos or Olympanus (10 November); Tercias (30 October and 10 November); Herastos, Quartus (10 November); Evodus (7 September); Onysiphoros (7 September and 8 December); Clement (25 November); Sosthenes (8 December); Apollos (10 September and 8 December); Tykhikos, Epaphrodites (8 December); Carpus (26 May); Codratus (21 September); Mark who is John, Zeno (27 September); Aristarchus (15 April and 27 September); Pudas, Trophymos (15 April); Mark nephew of Barnabas, Artemis (30 October); Aquila (14 July); Fortunatus, Achaecus (4 January).

With the Descent of the Holy Spirit the disciples preached in various lands. Some accompanied the Apostles from the 12, like the holy Evangelists Mark and Luke, or the companion of the holy Apostle Paul, Timothy, or the disciple of the holy Evangelist John the Theologian, Prochorus, and others. Many of them were thrown into prison for Christ, and many received the crown of a martyr’s death.

To the 70 Disciples are enumerated yet two – the holy Disciple Cephas, to whom the Lord appeared after the Resurrection (1 Cor. 15:5-6), and Simon, by nickname Niger (Acts 13:1), wherefore they also were glorified by apostolic preaching.

The Church in particular venerates and praises the 70 Disciples in that they taught to honour the Trinity One-in-Essence and Un-Divided. In the ninth century the Orthodox Church received from Joseph the Melodist the Canon for the Day of the Synaxis of the 70 Disciples of Christ.

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