Commemorated on April 8
(Rodion), Agabus (Ahab), Asinkritos, Rufus, Phlegontos and Hermas are among
the Seventy Disciples, chosen by Christ and sent by Him to preach
(Sobor-Assemblage of Seventy Disciples – Comm. 4 January).
The holy Disciple
Herodion was a kinsman of the Apostle Paul and his companion on many journeys.
When Christianity had spread to the Balkan Peninsula, the Apostles Peter and
Paul established the Disciple Herodion as Bishop of Patara. The Disciple
Herodion zealously preached the Word of God and converted many of the Greek
pagans and Jews to Christianity.
Enraged by the
preaching of the disciple, the idol-worshippers and Jews with one accord fell
upon Saint Herodion, and they began to beat him with sticks and pelt him with
stones. One of the mob struck him with a knife, and the saint fell down. But when
the murderers were gone, the Lord restored him to health unharmed.
After this, Saint
Herodion continued to accompany the Apostle Paul some years further. When the
holy Apostle Peter was crucified (+ c. 67), the Disciple Herodion at the same
time also and with Saint Olympos was beheaded by the sword.
The holy Disciple
Agabus was endowed with the gift of prophecy. He predicted (Acts 11: 27-28) the
famine during the time of the emperor Claudius (41-52), and foretold the
suffering of the Apostle Paul at Jerusalem (Acts 21: 11). The Disciple Agabus
preached in many lands and converted many pagans to Christ.
The Disciple Rufus
(Ruphus), to whom the holy Apostle Paul gives greeting in the Epistle to the
Romans (Rom. 16: 11-15), was bishop of the Greek city of Thebes. The Disciple
Asincritos (Rom. 16: 14) – was bishop in Hyrcania (Asia Minor). The Disciple
Phlegontos – bishop in the city of Marathon (Thrace). The Disciple Hermas –
bishop in Dalmatia (there is yet another Disciple from the Seventy by the name
of Hermas, who occupied a cathedra-seat in the Thracian city of Philippopolis).
All these disciples
for their intrepid service to Christ underwent fierce sufferings and were found
worthy of a martyr's crown.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.