A feast dedicated to those who preach the word of God

Apostles of the Seventy, sons of light and knights of the Cross

Apostles of the Seventy

The Synaxis of the Seventy Apostles is a feast established by the Church to commemorate the wider circle of the disciples of Christ, as opposed to the apostles of the twelve, Christ's closest followers, who were with Him at the time of His passions at the Garden of Gethsemane. Christ dispatched them in groups of two to towns and cities across the world to preach His word. He warned them to prepare themselves for material hardships and deprivation. Today, this feast is dedicated to all who have preached the Gospel and assisted in the establishment of Christian churches around the world.

The word "Apostle" is of Greek origin and refers to a person with a mission. It occurs in the New Testament over eighty times and refers to the people who received this title from Christ. Although the title of the feast refers to seventy apostles, their actual number is seventy-two, to include two individuals who received this title after the ascension of Christ when they saw Him in a vision. His famous words "The harvest is plentiful, but the reapers are few" refer to this group of His disciples. He instructed them to bring no purse, bag or shoes, to stay with people who would welcome them and eat whatever they were offered. He endowed them with the gift of healing and miracle-working and instructed them to heal people in His name. They trampled on snakes and scorpions and overcame the schemings of the demons, but Christ admonished them not to rejoice in their ability to overcome the enemy but that their names are written in heaven.

The feast of the apostles of the seventy was not established until the fourth century. In the Russian Orthodox Church, their memory is celebrated collectively and individually. They suffered many hardships and acts of malice from demons and people, but with their fervent love and loyalty to God, they overcame all temptations and inherited the Kingdom of Heaven.

January 17, 2022
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