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.
On August 4, we commemorate Mary Magdalene, the Holy Myrrh-bearer Equal of the Apostles, in the Belarussian Orthodox Church. There is so much one can learn from the life of this strong, devoted and brave woman.
As the feast day of Saint Vladimir the Great of Kiev is approaching, we are preparing to sing at the all-night vigil and the Divine Liturgy the hymns glorifying his great feat and his apostolic ministry in this part of the world.
The Loving God has given us elder brothers and sisters in Christ—the saints. Nun Lyubov (Nikolaeva) is sharing her story of a personal relationship between a Christian and a saint.
On July 12 in the Belarussian Orthodox Church, the faithful celebrate the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul - the Holy Apostles.
The courage of the Holy Royal Martyrs, their mercy, steadfast faith and readiness to entrust their fate to the Lord softened the hearts of many and showed the way of the Lord to the generations to come.
Standing of St Mary of Egypt is another name for the long Matins service on Thursday of the 5th week of Great Lent. Why is this service called this and what is so special about it? We invite you to read further to find out.
Saint virgins Menodora, Metrodora and Nymphodora were sisters originating from Bythinia in Asia Minor. Excelling in righteousness, they confined themselves to living in the desert. Fruitful years passed in fasting, prayer, disseminating the…