No Divine Liturgy
Forefeast of the Theophany.
Synaxis of the Seventy Apostles: James (Jacob), the brother of the Lord; Mark the Evangelist; Luke the Evangelist; Cleophas, the brother of Joseph the Betrothed; Simeon, the son of Cleophas; Barnabas; Justus; Thaddæus; Ananias; Stephen the Archdeacon; Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, and Parmenas of the Seven Deacons; Timothy; Titus; Philemon; Onesimus; Epaphras; Archippus; Silas; Silvanus; Crescens; Crispus; Epenetus; Andronicus; Stachys; Amplias; Urban; Narcissus; Apelles; Aristobulus; Herodion; Agabus; Rufus; Asyncritus; Phlegon; Hermes; Patrobus; Hermas; Linus; Gaius; Philologus; Lucius; Jason; Sosipater; Olympas; Tertius; Erastus; Quartus; Euodius; Onesiphorus; Clement; Sosthenes; Apollos; Tychicus; Epaphroditus; Carpus; Quadratus; Mark, called John; Zenas; Aristarchus; Pudens; Trophimus; Mark; Artemas; Aquila; Fortunatus; and Achaicus. (1st c.). Ven. Theoctistus, Abbot at Cucomo, in Sicily (800). Repose of St. Eustathius I, Archbishop of Serbia (ca. 1285). St. Aquila, Deacon, of the Kiev Caves (Far Caves—14th c.). Confessors Zosimus the Hermit and Athanasius the Commentarisius (Superintendent of Prisoners), Anchorites, of Cilicia (3rd-4th c.). Ven. Euthymius and twelve other Monks, martyred at Vatopedi (Mt. Athos—1285). Ven. Onuphrius of Chilandari (Mt. Athos), Martyr (1818).
Synaxis of the Seventy Apostles
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:
Saint James the Brother of the Lord (October 23); Mark the Evangelist (April 25); Luke the Evangelist (October 18); Cleopas (October 30), brother of Saint 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 Saint 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: Saint 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 Saint 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). Saint 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 Saint Joseph the Hymnographer composed the Canon for the Synaxis of the Seventy Apostles of Christ.
TROPARIA AND KONTAKIA
Troparion of the forefeast, tone 4
Prepare, O Zebulon, and adorn yourself, O Naphtali; River Jordan, cease flowing and receive with joy the Master coming to be baptized. Adam, rejoice with our First Mother and do not hide yourself as you did of old in Paradise; for having seen you naked, He has appeared to clothe you with the first garment. Christ has appeared to renew all creation.
Troparion of the saints, tone 3
Holy apostles of the Seventy, entreat the merciful God to grant our souls forgiveness of transgressions.
Kontakion of the saints, tone 2
O faithful, let us praise with hymns the choir of the seventy disciples of Christ. They have taught us all to worship the undivided Trinity, for they are divine lamps of the Faith.
Kontakion of the forefeast, tone 4
Today the Lord enters the Jordan and cries out to John: “Do not be afraid to baptize me. For I have come to save Adam, the first-formed man.”
Acts 13:25-33 (1st Hour, Epistle)
- And as John was finishing his course, he said, ‘Who do you think I am? I am not He. But behold, there comes One after me, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to loose.’
- Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent.
- For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him.
- And though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death.
- Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb.
- But God raised Him from the dead.
- He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people.
- And we declare to you glad tidings – that promise which was made to the fathers.
- God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You.’
Matthew 3:1-11 (1st Hour, Gospel)
- In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea,
- and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
- For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the LORD; make His paths straight.’”
- Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.
- Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him
- and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.
- But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
- Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance,
- and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
- And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
- I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.