The Synaxis of the 70 Holy Apostles

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Troparion of the Seventy Apostles Tone 3
With the use of divine faith you caught the nations,/ O Seventy Apostles of the Lord;/ and you lead them into the knowledge of God/ as those who had received the grace of the Spirit./ O inspired initiates,/ intercede with Christ our God/ that He grant us His great mercy.

Kontakion of the Seventy Apostles Tone 2
Let us praise the choirs of Christ’s Seventy Disciples, O faithful,/ and celebrate their festival./ They have taught us to worship the Undivided Trinity;/ for they are divine lamps of the Faith.

From the OCA website:

The Synaxis of the Seventy Apostles was established by the Orthodox Church to indicate the equal honor of each of the Seventy. They were sent two by two by the Lord Jesus Christ to go before Him into the cities He would visit (Luke 10:1).

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:

St James the Brother of the Lord (October 23); Mark the Evangelist (April 25); Luke the Evangelist (October 18); Cleopas (October 30), brother of St Joseph the Betrothed, and Simeon his son (April 27); Barnabas (June 11); Joses, or Joseph, named Barsabas or Justus (October 30); Thaddeus (August 21); Ananias (October 1); Protomartyr Stephen the Archdeacon (December 27); Philip the Deacon (October 11); Prochorus the Deacon (28 July); Nicanor the Deacon (July 28 and December 28); Timon the Deacon (July 28 and December 30); Parmenas the Deacon (July 28); Timothy (January 22); Titus (August 25); Philemon (November 22 and February 19); Onesimus (February 15); Epaphras and Archippus (November 22 and February 19); Silas, Silvanus, Crescens or Criscus (July 30); Crispus and Epaenetos (July 30); Andronicus (May 17 and July 30); Stachys, Amplias, Urban, Narcissus, Apelles (October 31); Aristobulus (October 31 and March 16); Herodion or Rodion (April 8 and November 10); Agabus, Rufus, Asyncritus, Phlegon (April 8); Hermas (November 5, November 30 and May 31); Patrobas (November 5); Hermes (April 8); Linus, Gaius, Philologus (November 5); Lucius (September 10); Jason (April 28); Sosipater (April 28 and November 10); Olympas or Olympanus (November 10 ); Tertius (October 30 and November 10); Erastos (November 30), Quartus (November 10); Euodius (September 7); Onesiphorus (September 7 and December 8); Clement (November 25); Sosthenes (December 8); Apollos (March 30 and December 8); Tychicus, Epaphroditus (December 8); Carpus (May 26); Quadratus (September 21); Mark (September 27), called John, Zeno (September 27); Aristarchus (April 15 and September 27); Pudens and Trophimus (April 15); Mark nephew of Barnabas, Artemas (October 30); Aquila (July 14); Fortunatus (June 15) and Achaicus (January 4).

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

There are two more Apostles of the Seventy: St Cephas, to whom the Lord appeared after the Resurrection (1 Cor. 15:5-6), and Simeon, called Niger (Acts 13:1). They also were glorified by apostolic preaching.

There are discrepancies and errors in some lists of the Seventy Apostles. In a list attributed to St Dorotheus of Tyre (June 5) some names are repeated (Rodion, or Herodion, Apollos, Tychicus, Aristarchus), while others are omitted (Timothy, Titus, Epaphras, Archippus, Aquila, Olympas). St Demetrius of Rostov consulted the Holy Scripture, the traditions passed down by the Fathers, and the accounts of trustworthy historians when he attempted to correct the mistakes and uncertainties in the list in compiling his collection of Lives of the Saints.

The Church in particular venerates and praises the Seventy Apostles because they taught us to honor the Trinity One in Essence and Undivided.

In the ninth century St Joseph the Hymnographer composed the Canon for the Synaxis of the Seventy Apostles of Christ.

Hippolytus’ account of the Twelve Apostles and how they died, and his list of the Seventy follows the cut. (Click on the link to continue.)

From chapter 49 of Hippolytus’ On the End of the World:

Hippolytus ON The Twelve Apostles

Where Each OF Them Preached, And Where HE Met His End.

1. Peter preached the Gospel in Pontus, and Galatia, and Cappadocia, and Betania, and Italy, and Asia, and was afterwards crucified by Nero in Rome with his head downward, as he had himself desired to suffer in that manner.

2. Andrew preached to the Scythians and Thracians, and was crucified, suspended on an olive tree, at Patrae, a town of Achaia; and there too he was buried.

3. John, again, in Asia, was banished by Domitian the king to the isle of Patmos, in which also he wrote his Gospel and saw the apocalyptic vision; and in Trajan’s time he fell asleep at Ephesus, where his remains were sought for, but could not be found.

4. James, his brother, when preaching in Judea, was cut off with the sword by Herod the tetrarch, and was buried there.

5. Philip preached in Phrygia, and was crucified in Hierapolis with his head downward in the time of Domitian, and was buried there.

6. Bartholomew, again, preached to the Indians, to whom he also gave the Gospel according to Matthew, and was crucified with his head downward, and was buried in Allanum, a town of the great Armenia.

7. And Matthew wrote the Gospel in the Hebrew tongue, and published it at Jerusalem, and fell asleep at Hierees, a town of Parthia.

8. And Thomas preached to the Parthians, Medes, Persians, Hyrcanians, Bactrians, and Margians, and was thrust through in the four members of his body with a pine spears at Calamene, the city of India, anti was buried there.

9. And James the son of Alphaeus, when preaching in Jerusalem. was stoned to death by the Jews, and was buried there beside the temple.

10. Jude, who is also called Lebbaeus, preached. to the people of Edessa, and to all Mesopotamia, and fell asleep at Berytus, and was buried there.

11. Simon the Zealot, the son of Clopas, who is also called Jude, became bishop of Jerusalem after James the Just, and fell asleep and was buried there at the age of 120 years.

12. And Matthias, who was one of the seventy, was numbered along with the eleven apostles, and preached in Jerusalem, and fell asleep and was buried there.

13. And Paul entered into the apostleship a year after the assumption of Christ; and beginning at Jerusalem, he advanced as far as Illyricum, and Italy, and Spain, preaching the Gospel for five-and-thirty years. And in the time of Nero he was beheaded at Rome, and was buried there.

The Same Hippolytus ON The Seventy Apostles.

1. James the Lord’s brother, bishop of Jerusalem.

2. Cleopas, bishop of Jerusalem.

3. Matthias, who supplied the vacant place in the number of the twelve apostles.

4. Thaddeus, who conveyed the epistle to Augarus.

5. Ananias, who baptized Paul, and was bishop of Damascus.

6. Stephen, the first martyr.

7. Philip, who baptized the eunuch.

8. Prochorus, bishop of Nicomedia, who also was the first that departed, believing together with his daughters.

9. Nicanor died when Stephen was martyred.

10. Timon, bishop of Bostra.

11. Parmenas, bishop of Soli.

12. Nicolaus, bishop of Samaria.

13. Barnabas, bishop of Milan.

14. Mark the evangelist, bishop of Alexandria.

15. Luke the evangelist.

These two belonged to the seventy disciples who were scattered by the offence of the word which Christ spoke, “Except a man eat my flesh, and drink my blood, he is not worthy of me.” But the one being induced to return to the Lord by Peter’s instrumentality, and the other by Paul’s, they were honoured to preach that Gospel on account of which they also suffered martyrdom, the one being burned, and the other being crucified on an olive tree.

16. Silas, bishop of Corinth.

17. Silvanus, bishop of Thessalonica.

18. Crisces (Crescens), bishop of Carchedon in Gaul.

19. Epaenetus, bishop of Carthage.

20. Andronicus, bishop of Pannonia.

21. Amplias, bishop of Odyssus.

22. Urban, bishop of Macedonia.

23. Stachys, bishop of Byzantium.

24. Barnabas, bishop of Heraclea.

25. Phygellus, bishop of Ephesus. He was of the party also of Simon.

26. Hermogenes. He, too, was of the same mind with the former.

27. Demas, who also became a priest of idols.

28. Apelles, bishop of Smyrna.

29. Aristobulus, bishop of Britain.

30. Narcissus, bishop of Athens.

31. Herodion, bishop of Tarsus.

32. Agabus the prophet.

33. Rufus, bishop of Thebes.

34. Asyncritus, bishop of Hyrcania.

35. Phlegon, bishop of Marathon.

36. Hermes, bishop of Dalmatia.

37. Patrobulus, bishop of Puteoli.

38. Hermas, bishop of Philippi.

39. Linus, bishop of Rome.

40. Caius, bishop of Ephesus.

41. Philologus, bishop of Sinope.

42, 43. Olympus and Rhodion were martyred in Rome.

44. Lucius, bishop of Laodicea in Syria.

45. Jason, bishop of Tarsus.

46. Sosipater, bishop of Iconium.

47. Tertius, bishop of Iconium.

48. Erastus, bishop of Panellas.

49. Quartus, bishop of Berytus.

50. Apollo, bishop of Caesarea.

51. Cephas.

52. Sosthenes, bishop of Colophonia.

53. Tychicus, bishop of Colophonia.

54. Epaphroditus, bishop of Andriace.

55. Caesar, bishop of Dyrrachium.

56. Mark, cousin to Barnabas, bishop of Apollonia.

57. Justus, bishop of Eleutheropolis.

58. Artemas, bishop of Lystra.

59. Clement, bishop of Sardinia.

60. Onesiphorus, bishop of Corone.

61. Tychicus, bishop of Chalcedon.

62. Carpus, bishop of Berytus in Thrace.

63. Evodus, bishop of Antioch.

64. Aristarchus, bishop of Apamea.

65. Mark, who is also John, bishop of Bibloupolis.

66. Zenas, bishop of Diospolis.

67. Philemon, bishop of Gaza.

68, 69. Aristarchus and Pudes.

70. Trophimus, who was martyred along with Paul.

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