St. Simon the Canaanite

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He was mentioned as the Canaanite in Matthew 10:4 and Mark 3:18. St. Luke mentioned him as Zealot (Luke 6:15 and Acts 1:13). It is clear both Canaanite and Zealot were used interchangeably. He preached in Syria, Iraq and Persia where he was martyred. 12. St. Matthias:

Was one of the seventy apostles and was chosen in the absent place of Judas the Iscariot (Acts 1:15-26). He preached in Judea, Samaria and Asia Minor where he was martyred. St. Paul, the Apostle

He was borne (5 AD) in Tarsus the capital of state of Cilicia in Asia Minor. His parents were Jews of the Benjamin tribe. He had Roman citizenship as his homeland was a Roman state. He was a disciple for Gamaliel, one of the famous Jewish scholars during his time. He spoke Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic which allowed him to preach worldwide. Also, he worked as a tent-maker. The first mention of St. Paul was in the Holy Book of Acts at the stoning of St. Stephen where he guarded the clothes of those stoning the martyr. After that he carried letters from the chief priests to persecute more Christians in Damascus where the Lord appeared to him (Acts 9). He was baptized by Ananias the Bishop of Damascus and was filled with the Holy Spirit. He spent about three years in Arabia (Galatians 1:17&18) where he devoted himself to praying, fasting and studying of the Old Testament in the light of gifts of the New Testament (Galatians 1:11&12).

Three years after his conversion from 40 AD to his martyrdom in 67 AD, he made three missionary trips, in addition to visiting Jerusalem five times and spending about 4 years as a prisoner in Rome. Antioch of Syria was the base for his missionary trips because Church of Antioch was the Church of the Gentiles.

From 40 AD to 44 AD he began to preach in Damascus where the Jews convinced the governor to seize him but the believers helped him to flee out of the city (Acts 9:23-25, 2 Corinthians 11: 32& 33). Then he went to Jerusalem where he met St. Peter and St. James (Galatians 1:19). In Jerusalem the believers did not believe his conversion but St. Barnabas convinced them and so they glorified the Lord for His miracles (Acts 9:26 &27, Galatians 1:18-24). He had a vision of the Lord Jesus Christ in the temple where he ordered him to leave the city as they would not accept his teaching and the Lord then would send him to the Gentiles (Acts 22:17). The Jews tried to kill him but the believers helped him to flee to Caesara then to Tarsus where he met St. Barnabas and helped him in preaching in Antioch for one year (Acts 11:25&26). But because of famine St. Paul and St. Barnabas went to Jerusalem carrying the gifts of the believers in Antioch to the mother Church in Jerusalem, where at that time St. James the elder was martyred.

The first trip of preaching was from 45 AD t0 50 AD. He began his trip with St. Barnabas and St. Mark where they sailed from Seleucia of Antioch to Cyprus and Salamis then to Asia Minor but St. Mark left them in Berga of Bamphilia. During this trip Elymas the sorcerer was punished by blindness and the proconsul of Cyprus Sergius Paulus converted to Christianity (Acts 13: 1-12). Also they ministered in Antioch of Pisidia, where the Jews persecuted them. In Lystra the Lord used them to heal a paralyzed man since his birth and when the people there saw this miracle they thought that St Paul and St. Barnabas were god and tried to worship them and the Apostles prevented them from doing this (14: 8-18), however, the Jews who came from Iconium persuaded the multitudes and so they stoned them and they were dragged out of the city (Acts 14:19). This trip ended by joining the Council of Jerusalem 50 AD.

The second trip was from 51 AD to 54 AD where he began his ministry to the Greeks. He was joined by Silas and Timothy. They passed Phrygia and Galatia where the Holy Spirit prevented them to minister in Asia. Then passed to Troas where St. Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia and pleaded him come over to Macedonia and help us and so St. Paul began his ministry to the Greeks (Acts 16:1- 10). In Philippi, Lydia and the Philippian Jailer converted to Christianity (Acts 16:11-34). Then they went to Thessalonica and Berea (Acts 17) where they established the Churches there and were persecuted by the Jews. Then St. Paul and St. Silas went to Athens where he met the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers in Areopagus (Acts 17:16-34) where Dionysius the Areopagite, who became a Bishop of Athens later, and Damaris joined St. Paul and believed (Acts 17:34). Then St. Paul ministered in Corinth and founded the Church there. In spring of 54 AD he returned to Antioch passing through Ephesus, Caesara, and Jerusalem and wrote 2 Holy Epistles to the Thessalonians.

The third trip of ministry was from 54 AD to 58 AD where he ministered in Ephesus and spent there 3 years (Acts 20:31). He visited the Churches of Macedonia and Corinth where he wrote his Holy Epistles to the Galatians, Corinthians, and Romans.

In spring of 58 AD he visited Jerusalem for the fifth and last time carrying the gifts of the Greek believers to the poor of Jerusalem. He passed through Philippi, Taroas, and Meleetis where Jews tried to kill him but the commander Lassies sent him to Felix in Caesarea where he was imprisoned for 2 years (58-60 AD) (Acts 23) after that he was sent to Rome. He spent the winter in Malta and he arrived in Rome in March 61 AD in the 7th year of Nero. He spent 2 years in Rome in a house he rented bound with chains but he had the freedom to minister (Acts 28: 30 &31) where many believed including some in the royal court. He spent his life preaching the Kingdom of God (Acts 28:31). He wrote his Holy Epistles to the Hebrews, Titus, and Timothy. He attained the crown of martyrdom in Rome in 67 AD.