Difference between revisions of "Famous Persons in the Apostolic Age"

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# [[St. James the Beloved]]
# [[St. James the Beloved]]
# [[St. James the Just]]
# [[St. James the Just]]
# [[St. Philip]]
# [[St. Philip the Apostle]]
# [[St. Bartholomew the Apostle]]
# [[St. Thomas the Apostle]]
=== St. Andrew ===
# [[St. Matthew the Apostle]]
# [[St. Judas the Apostle]]
He is St. Peter’s brother, and a former disciple of St. John the Baptist. St. John the Baptist led
# [[St. Simon the Canaanite]]
him to the Lord Jesus Christ and so St. Andrew spent a day with the Lord Christ to see His wonders
# [[St. Barnabas the Apostle]]
and teaching and when he became confident that the Lord Jesus Christ was the Messiah, he called his
# [[St. Mark the Evangelist and Beholder of God]]
brother St. Peter to meet the Lord Jesus Christ who called them to follow Him. He followed the Lord
# [[St. Luke the Apostle]]
Jesus Christ as a disciple after the miracle of catching great numbers of fish. 
The Holy Gospel mentioned St. Andrew in the feeding of the five thousand (John 6:8 &9),
when Greeks asked him to see the Lord Jesus Christ (John 12:22) and when he asked the Lord about
the end of the ages and destruction of Jerusalem  and its temple (Mark 13:3). He preached in Asia
Minor and states north of the Black Sea and was martyred on a cross in Petras one of the Greek cities.
He is the intercessor of Russian and Greek churches. His relics were transferred from Petras to
Constantinople on 357 AD and then to Amalpae City of Italy in the 11th century and the relics are still
present in this cathedral at present time.
=== St. James the Elder ===
He is John’s brother from Bethesda. The Lord called him as a disciple with his brother John
and so they left their father with the fishermen and followed him (Matthew 4:21 &22). He was one of the witnesses of the first miracle of the Lord Jesus Christ in Cana of Galilee (John 2:2). He was one of
the witnesses to the rising of daughter of Jarius from death, Transfiguration, and prayer of the Lord
Jesus Christ in Gethsemane. The Lord Jesus Christ called him with his brother John the “sons of
thunder” (Mark 3:17). He preached in Judea and Samaria. He was beheaded by Herod Agrippa and
attained the crown of martyrdom in 44 AD (Acts 12:1). While he was on his way to be beheaded he
cured a lame man and so the solider who led him to his death believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and was
martyred at the same time along with him. He remained a virgin all his life. His relics were transferred
to Compostella of Spain and have remained there until today.     
=== St. James, the Beloved ===
He is St. James’ brother, the son of Zebedee. He was the disciple whom the Lord Jesus loved
(John 19:26) and he laid on the Lord Jesus Christ’s chest at the Last Supper. He is the Apostle who
became known for his virginity, simple heart, and great love for the Lord Jesus Christ. He was the only
disciple who followed the Lord Jesus Christ to the Holy Cross and so the Lord Jesus bequeathed him
St. Mary as a mother and from that time she lived with him (John 19:25-27). Many believe that St.
John’s family was a well-to-do- family and resided in Bethesda. 
He might have been a former disciple of St. John the Baptist for sometime (John 1:35-42).His
mother was one of women who followed the Lord Jesus Christ and served Him (Matthew 27:55, Mark
10:40 & 41). St. John recorded the Lord Jesus Christ’s speech about Holy Communion (John 6), the
only one who mentioned the meeting of the Lord Jesus Christ with the Samarian woman (John 4),
story of the Lord Jesus Christ with the woman which committed adultery (John 8), healing of the blind
man, blind since his birth (John 9) and the raising of Lazarus from the dead (John 11), and he is the
only one who mentioned the last prayer of the Lord Jesus Christ before Crucifixion (John 17). He was
one of the three disciples who were witnesses of the miracle of raising the  daughter of Jarius, in
Transfiguration, and in Gethsemane. He went very early with St. Peter to the Lord Jesus Christ’s tomb
on the Glorious Resurrection Sunday and even reached the tomb first before St. Peter. He was the only
disciple who recognized the Lord Jesus Christ in his apparition on Lake of Galilee after His blessed
Glorious  Resurrection and said to St Peter (He is The Lord. John 21:7). 
He was a leader of the early Church along with St. Peter and St. James, was with St. Peter in
performing the miracle of healing of leman of the temple (Acts 3), witness for the Lord Jesus Christ
before Synagogue (Acts 4) and laying their hands on the believers of Samaria to accept the Holy Spirit
(Acts 8). 
He stayed in Jerusalem until St. Mary’s departure as he took care of her. He preached in Judea,
Jerusalem, Samaria and after her departure he preached in Asia Minor completing the work of St. Paul
and St. Appalls and set his center in Ephesus  (Acts 18:24-82 & 19:1-12) where he oversaw the
churches in Azmer, Philadelphia, Sardis, Bergamo, and Thyatira which were mentioned in the Holy
Book of Revelation. 
For his zealousness in teaching and preaching, the Emperor Domitian seized him and brought
him to Rome where he was thrown into a pot of oil but the Lord saved him and so the emperor exiled
him to Patmos around 95 AD where he saw his revelation and wrote his Holy Book. After Domitian’s
death, he returned to Ephesus to continue his preaching.
One of the most common titles for St John is the Beloved and he mentioned this in John 13:23,
19:26, 20:2, 21:7 & 20. He was called the “love” Apostle where his Holy Gospel, his Holy Epistles and sermons were centered upon the Christian love. Also, he defended the orthodox faith against heretics.
He departed in 100 AD.
=== St. James the Just ===
He is James the son of Alphaeus, one of the twelve disciples. He was one of the 3 pillars of
circumcision’s church as St. Paul mentioned (Galatians 2:7-9). He was known as the Lord’s brother as
his mother was a sister to St. Mary the Virgin, the wife of Klopa which means Alphaeus in Aramaic.
He was known also St. James the Young (Mark 15:40), the Just for his holiness and Bishop of
Jerusalem. He headed the Council of Jerusalem in 50 AD (Acts 15). He wrote his Holy Epistle where
he focused on good deeds as necessary along with the faith. He had a Liturgy in the Syrian Church. He
was ascetic and used to kneel during prayer until  his knees became like those of camel. For his
preaching, Jews threw him down of the mountain of the temple, and then stoned him, and then
someone hit him on his head putting an end to his holy life and so had the crown of martyrdom about
62 AD. Josephus mentioned that destruction of Jerusalem and its temple was the God’s punishment for
the Jews because they killed St. James.
=== St. Philip ===
He was born in Bethesda (John 1:44). He studied the law and prophecies and so he said to
Nathaniel “We found the Messiah about him Moses wrote in the Law and the prophets, Jesus” (John
1:45). He was mentioned in the miracle of feeding the five thousand when the Lord asked from where
we can buy food for those to eat and St. Philip answered food with 200 coins is not enough for them
(John 6:5-7). Also, so Greeks asked him to see the Lord Jesus Christ on the Monday following Palm
Sunday (John 12:20-22). Mentioned also in the Last Supper and when he said to the Lord “Lord, show
us the Father, and it is sufficient for us” and so the Lord answered him saying “Have I been with you
so long and yet you have not known me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can
you say, show us the Father” (John 14: 8-10).
He preached in Persia, Asia Minor and Hierapolis which was close to Colossi in Asia Minor
where he martyred upon a cross.
=== St. Bartholomew ===
All scholars agree that Bartholomew is Nathaniel mentioned in John 1:45 where St. Philip
brought him to the Lord Jesus Christ. He saw the Lord Jesus Christ on the Lake of Galilee after the
Lord’s Glorious Resurrection. He preached in Yemen and Armenia where he was martyred and so the
Armenian Church considers him her intercessor.   
=== St. Thomas ===
From Galilee and called the Twin (John 11:16 and 21:2). He loved the Lord greatly and so
when the Lord intended to go to Bethany, St. Thomas said to the disciples we should go also to die
with him (John 11:8-16). In the Last Supper he asked the Lord “Lord, we don’t know where you go so
how we can know the way” and so the Lord answered him saying “I am the way, the truth and the life”
(John 14:1-6). Also, he didn’t believe the Lord’s Glorious Resurrection and appearance to the Apostles
in the Upper Room on Glorious Resurrection Sunday when St. Thomas was not present and so the
Lord appeared again on the following Sunday and He said to Thomas “Reach your finger here, and
look at My hands, and reach your hand here and put  it into my said. Do not be unbelieving, but
believing. And Thomas answered and said to Him My Lord and my God. Jesus said to him Thomas
because you have seen ME, you have believed, blessed are those who have not seen and yet have
believed” (John 21:24-29).    He preached in Judea, Iraq, Ethiopia, Arabia, India and China. He is the intercessor of the
Indian Church. He attained the crown of martyrdom in Malabar of India by the pagans’ priests.
=== St. Matthew ===
He was from Galilee and called Levi. He was a tax collector despised by his people. When the
Lord called him for discipleship he left everything and followed him (Matthew 9:9-24). He preached in
Judea, Ethiopia, and Persia. He wrote his Holy Gospel to Hebrews.
10. St. Judas:
He is also called Thaddeus, Lebbaeus, and James’ brother for differentiation from the other
Judas Iscariot who betrayed the Lord (Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18, Luke 6:16 and Acts 1:13).  He was
one of the Lord Jesus Christ’s cousins. He was mentioned only in John 14:22 &23 “Judas not Iscariot
said to him, Lord how is it that you will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world. Jesus answered
and said to him if anyone loves me he will keep my word and my Father will love him and we will come
to him and make our home with him”. He preached in Iraq, Arabia and Persia where he was martyred.
He wrote the Holy Epistle that bears his name and in which he warned the believers against the
heretics and false teachers and brothers.
=== St. Simon, the Canaanite ===
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.
=== St. Barnabas the Apostle ===
He was a Jew from the Levi tribe. His family had settled in Cyprus and had relatives in
Jerusalem, of them, St. Mark’s family and so St. Paul called St. Mark St. Barnabas’s nephew “son of
his sister” (Colossians 4:10). According to our Church’s tradition St. Barnabas was one of the seventy disciples. His name was Joseph and the Apostles called him Barnabas, which is translated Son of
Encouragement (Acts 4:36). St. Luke mentioned in the Holy Book of Acts that St. Barnabas sold his
properties and brought the money and laid it at the Apostles’ feet (Acts 4:36 & 37). Also, he mentioned
concerning him “For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith” (Acts 11:24).
The Apostles sent him to Antioch to minister with the Holy Gospel (Acts 11:22). He ministered
in Antioch and brought St. Paul to minister with him for one year (Acts 11:22-26). In that year, they
went to Jerusalem carrying the gifts of the believers in Antioch to the poor in Judea and in their return
to Antioch they brought St Mark (Acts 12:25). Then, he ministered in Cyprus (Acts 15: 36-40) and
joined the Council of Jerusalem. St. Paul appointed to him in  his Epistles to the Corinthians and
Colossians (1 Corinthians 9:6 and Colossians 4:10). 
He was martyred in Salamina of Cyprus where Jews seized him, stoned and burned him about
61 AD but his body did not burn. In the 5th century, God revealed to the Bishop of Cyprus the site of
his tomb.  There is an epistle in his name which was very popular in the early centuries supported by
many scholars and fathers in the church but others denied it.   
=== St. Mark the Evangelist and Beholder of God ===
St Mark authored the Gospel of St Mark  and founded the Church of Alexandria and is
considered the Church’s first pope.  St Mark was born in Adenapolis one of the five western cities in
northern Africa (Adenapolis, Apollonia, Bitolmais, Toshira, and Birnis).
St Mark’s parents were wealthy but as a result  of barbarian tribes lost most of their wealth
having to depart for the safety of Jerusalem.  At that time this family was not aware of the plan of God
waiting upon St Mark in Jerusalem.  According to the book, “Lamp of Darkness” St Mark lived about
89 years and 5 months.  St Mark was martyred on April 26, 68 AD.  With this in perspective, it can be
calculated that St Mark was approximately 21 years of age at the time of the Lord Jesus Christ’s birth. 
The length of time in which St Mark spent upon the Alexandrian See was 7 years, 8 months, and 1 day.
St Mark was one of the seventy apostles and was the apostle whom was appointed by the Lord
Jesus Christ to eat the Passover meal at his home.  His home which was known as Zion’s room was
also the place where the apostles gathered together following the Crucifixion, the place where the Holy
Spirit came upon the apostles as tongues of fire on the Pentecost, and also it is also considered the first
church in the entire world.
The Holy Gospel recorded the following about our first pope, the apostle, St Mark: (1) The
Lord Jesus Christ celebrated the Passover with His holy disciples in St Mark’s home (Matthew 26:18,
Mark 14:13, and Luke 12:10-12). (2) Appearance of the Lord after His Glorious Resurrection to the
apostles happened in St Mark’s home (John 20:19, Luke 24:33). (3) The coming upon the disciples of
the Holy Spirit happened in St Mark’s home (Acts 1:13 and 2:1). (4) St Mark was with St Barnabas
and St Paul 47 AD (Acts 11:27-30). (5) From 47 AD to 49 AD, the first preaching trip involving the
apostles Paul, Barnabas, Mark, Seleucia, Salamis, Paphos and Perga in Pamphyli (Acts 13:1-13). (6)
50-52 AD St Mark departed with St Barnabas to Cyprus (Acts 15:39). (7) St Mark was with St Paul in
Colossi (Colossians 4:10) in 61 AD. (8) 64 AD-66 AD  St Mark departed to Rome for St Paul (2
Timothy 4:11). (9) When the first Council was held in Jerusalem under the leadership of St James the
Bishop of Jerusalem, to discuss the acceptance of the Gentiles without circumcision, St Mark attended.
(10) After St Mark’s preaching with St Barnabas and St Paul, the Holy Spirit led him to preach on his
own which brought the saint to Egypt.  St Mark is recognized by all Christians world-wide as one of the four Evangelists who wrote a
Holy Gospel.  In addition, for our beloved Coptic Church, St Mark is also our preacher, our founder of
the Coptic Church, and our first Pope of the See of St Mark.  Through St Mark, the prophecy spoken of
in the Holy Book of Isaiah the Prophet has been fulfilled, “…there will be an altar for the Lord in
Egypt and a pillar at its boundaries…”
St Mark was also one of the seventy apostles; therefore our Coptic  Church can be rightly
termed “apostolic” as it was indisputably founded by one of the original apostles.  Although the
disciples and the apostles are considered ecumenical or universal bishops for the Church in general,
every church refers to her initial preacher as her  first bishop and as such, St Mark is the Coptic
Church’s first bishop of the See of Alexandria.
St Mark attended the first ecumenical council held in Jerusalem in 51 AD to discuss the topic
of the relevance of circumcision prior to baptism.  The holy apostles agreed at this ecumenical council
to accept the Gentiles into the Church without circumcision before baptism (Acts 15:23-30).
Following the council held in Jerusalem, St Mark and St Barnabas journeyed to Cyprus (Acts
15:36-40) and there the Holy Spirit led St Mark to preach in the Five Western Cities in North Africa. 
Following St Mark’s ministry in North Africa he then journeyed to Egypt.  The date of this founding
saints’ arrival into Egypt was 55 AD.
When St Mark came to Egypt, many pagan gods were being worshipped by the Egyptians. 
Some of the gods were considered to be national gods and other idols originated from Greece, Rome,
Persia, Syria, and Babylonia.  These gods included: (1) Rue:  The god of the sun.  Rue was considered
by the pagans to be the source of light and warmth.  Heliopolis “Ainshams” was the center of its
worship and from this center gradually its false teachings were spread throughout all of Egypt. (2)
Amon:  The invisible god.  Tibha was the center of worship for this particular god.  Later during the
Egyptian state, Amon was combined with Rue and the combined worship came to be termed Amon
Rua. (3) Osiris:  The messenger god of love and peace among the people.  This god of peace and love
originated from Syria. (4) Diana or Artamis:  The god of hunting. (5) Khnoum:  The creator god. 
Tibha was also the center of worship for Khnoum. (6) Anhita:  A popular god which came from Persia.
Also when St Mark journeyed to Egypt, Egypt was considered the second greatest city in the
world.  Second only to Rome, was Egypt.  Egypt was widely accepted though as first in the world for
science, art, philosophy, and architecture.  Its school was recognized world-wide as well as the
professors who taught within it.  For all those seeking knowledge and philosophy Egypt was the place
to come.
In Alexandria there were Greek philosophers and scholars, Jewish scholars and teachers of
Scriptures, and Persian wise men.  In addition to all this were the priests.  In Alexandria, there was the
famous Alexandrian Library considered as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.  This famed
library contained millions of volumes of books of the greatest philosophers and scholars in the world
for that time frame.
The Alexandrian population was approximately 600,000.The most famous temple in
Alexandria among the School and Library was Serabium. In this  temple the idol Serabis was
worshipped by most of the population.  The Holy Book of Acts 6:9 tells that St Stephen went in dialogue with a Jerusalem Council and
that some of the council members were from the City of Alexandria.  Also, Apollo, one of the greatest
preachers in the early Church was from the City of Alexandria as denoted by the Holy Book of Acts
18:24. Not only was Alexandria the center of civilization for the world, it was also the center for moral
Politically, Egypt was a Roman state under the direct control of the Roman emperor. 
Alexandrians revolted against the Roman authority of Augustus Caesar.  Caesar sent a Roman military
army of 20,000 to Alexandria to put a halt to the revolution.  The emperor was in dire need of Egypt’s
wheat.  Putting an end to the revolution would not be the only act of Augustus Caesar.  He also gave
social and religious freedom to the Jews residing in Alexandria.  This inequality gave rise to many
disputes and fights among the Jews and Alexandrians.
This is the state of the wonderful City of Alexandria, founded by Alexander the Great in 331
BC, when St Mark arrived to preach and teach the message of salvation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Upon the first day of his arrival, St Mark wandered about the streets of Alexandria until his
worn shoes fell apart.  St Mark stopped at the first shoemaker shop he approached to have his shoes
repaired.  The shoemaker’s name was “Anianos” and this shoemaker would later become the second
pope of Alexandria. 
While Anianos was working to repair St Marks’ worn shoes, the needle in which he was using
to repair the soles of St Mark’s shoes injured his hand and Anianos cried out, “Oh God, the only One!” 
At this exclamation, St Mark spit upon the ground, made mud, and placed the mixture upon Anianos
finger and healed it immediately.  Discussion ensued between St Mark and Anianos related to his One
God.  Anianos confessed to St Mark that he had only heard of such God but did not actually know of
this One God. 
St Mark begins to preach to Anianos about the One God, the Lord Jesus Christ.  The message
of salvation through the Holy Cross was taught and welcomed by Anianos and his family.  Anianos
home is considered the first Church in the land of Egypt.
Within a few short years Christianity had spread throughout the land of Egypt.  Christianity not
only spread and was accepted, through its teachings the behavior and morals of the Egyptian people
would also change for the better. 
Philon, the Jewish scholar, stated, “St Mark and his disciples did not care about worldly
matters, but cared about God’s Glory and His salvation to all people.”  The Egyptians became united in
true “Agape” love and a heavenly peace.  There was no rich or poor classification among the people. 
Everyone lived an economical life; the rich gave unto the poor so everyone could be considered rich
with God.  The people ate only one time per day after sunset.  Some would fast for three to five days
without food.
There is disagreement among scholars about the possible visit of St Peter the apostle to St Mark
in Babylon’s fort where there was a great Jewish colony and from which St Peter wrote his first Holy
Epistle which concludes with this verse, “…she was in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you
and so does Mark my son.”  (I Peter 5:13)  Some scholars believe this means Rome.  Regardless,
there is nothing to contraindicate the possibility of St Peter’s visit to Babylon.  Further, some scholars
suggest St Simeon the Cannite visited Egypt as well.  To establish the newly growing Church, St Mark, ordained Anianos as a bishop and along with
this ordained twelve priests and seven deacons.  St Mark at this particular time also wrote his Divine
Liturgy, now referred to as the “Divine Liturgy of St Cyril.”  St Mark first wrote the Divine Liturgy in
Greek then it was translated to the language of Behari Coptic.  Three of Anianos assistants were Mlios,
Kardanos, and Primos. 
St Mark founded the School of Alexandria to  counteract the idolatrous school in Alexandria
which had become world famous for its philosophy, science, medicine, mathematics, and astronomy. 
St Mark wrote the Apostles Teachings, Rituals, and Traditions that were specific for the See of
Alexandria.  Following all of this, St Mark departed Alexandria in 65 AD to further his ministry in the
Name of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Five Western Cities in Northern Africa.
After continuing to strengthen the churches in North Africa, St Mark at St Paul’s request joined
the apostle in Rome to help in preaching and teaching those there.  St Paul stated in the two Holy
Books, II Timothy 4:11 and Philemon 1:24 that St Mark was indeed useful for the ministry.
Bishop Anianos, his priests and deacons were known for their honesty, for their ministry, and
taught through Egypt.  They established the first church in Bokalia now known as “St Mark Church in
Alexandria.”  St Mark returned to Alexandria around 67 AD, where he wrote his Holy Gospel in Greek
for the believers in Alexandria.
The great success of St Mark’s evangelism led  to persecution and torture of Christians in
Alexandria by the idolatrous governors and people of the city.  St Mark was one of the ones who
would ultimately be put to death because of his ardent belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.
On 29 Baramoudah (April 16) 68 AD, St Mark celebrated the Glorious Resurrection Feast with
the believers which coincided with the Feast of Serabis, as previously mentioned, the most famous of
idols worshipped in the City of Alexandria.  The idolaters angrily broke into the church and attacked St
Mark while the saint was praying the Divine Liturgy of the Glorious Feast of the Resurrection at the
altar.  The crowds of idolaters tied up St Mark with a band around his neck and dragged him into the
streets of Alexandria.  From one street to another they inhumanely dragged the saint crying and
screaming “Drag him to the bulls’ house.”
The “bulls’ house” refers to the Bokalia area where the Coptic Church was later built in his
honor, known as “St Marks’ Church in Alexandria.”  They continued to torture the bleeding St Mark
until finally he was thrown into prison. The Lord Jesus Christ through a great Heavenly light appeared
to St Mark and healed him saying, “Be strong My beloved apostle, your heart will be filled with joy. 
Be in peace as tomorrow you will have the crown of martyrdom and  be with Me in the Heavenly
The following day, the idolaters tied up the apostle once again with a neck bond and dragged
his body through the streets as they had done before.  This time they drug his body until his head
separated from his body.  Upon this day, St Mark received three crowns, the crown of apostolicity, the
crown of evangelism, and the crown of martyrdom.  All the while during his torture, St Mark prayed,
“Thank you Lord because you have allowed me to suffer persecution and torture for Your Holy
Name.”  St Mark near his death requested that the Lord forgive those who brought about his death and
then departed from his earthly existence.    After St Mark’s martyrdom, the idolaters hurriedly brought firewood to burn his body.  A great
wind suddenly blew, a great rain suddenly fell and the idolaters in fear scattered.  St Mark’s disciples
came and affectionately carried his holy body and buried him in the Church which carries his name in
Bokalia.  St Mark’s blood became the first shed in Egypt and millions of martyrs would follow his
example and chose earthly death rather than deny their Lord Jesus Christ.
This is written in the History of Patriarchs by Bishop Saouris; St Mark was martyred on the last
day of Baramoudah the year 35 following the Lord Jesus Christ’s Glorious Resurrection on 24 of
Nissan.  The Coptic Church celebrates his martyrdom on Baramoudah.
A few centuries later, St Mark’s body was stolen by Italian traders and taken to Italy where it
remained for hundreds of years.  His Holiness Pope Cyril the Sixth succeeded in returning St Marks’
holy body to Egypt on 17 Baounah, June 24, l969
=== St. Luke the Apostle ===
He is the 3rd Evangelist, the writer of the Holy Book of Acts and the partner of St. Paul in his
ministry trips. Ibevanios mentioned that St. Luke was one of the seventy disciples and one of Emmaus’
disciples. Other scholars mentioned that he was a Gentile from Antioch and converted to Christianity
very early around 36 AD by one of the disciples. He met St. Paul in his 2nd ministry trip on his way to
Macedonia and accompanied St. Paul to Philippi (Acts 16:9, 16:6-8, 16:10). After the founding of the
Philippian Church, St. Luke remained there to take care of it until he met again St. Paul on his last trip
to Jerusalem. He accompanied St. Paul in his imprisonment in Caesara and Rome till the martyrdom of
=== St. Paul ===
In reality, St. Luke was a very humble person, although he wrote his Holy Gospel and the Holy
Book of Acts he did not mention much about himself. He remained honest and faithful to St. Paul as he
mentioned to St. Timothy “Luke alone is with me” (2 Timothy 4:11). He was martyred in his 84th year
in Elaea in Greece and his relics with those of St. Andrew the Apostle were transferred to the Apostles’
Church in Constantinople as mentioned by St. Jerome.
St. Luke wrote his Holy Gospel based on what he heard from witnesses as St. Mary the Virgin
to a well-to-do-man from Alexandria, called Theophilus about 70 AD. He wrote the Holy Book of Acts
recording the history of the Church beginning from the Ascension of the Lord to the 2nd year of Paul’s
imprisonment in Rome and so he is the true father of the history of the Christian Church. He was a
physician (Colossians 4:14) and so he presented the Lord Jesus Christ in his Holy Gospel as the true
physician for the human race and the true Savior of the world. Also, he was painter and to him it
belongs the honor of painting the first portrait of St. Mary the Virgin.
== The Apostles’ Assistants ==
== The Apostles’ Assistants ==
# [[St. Timothy]]
# [[St. Titus]]
# [[St. Silas]]
=== St. Timothy ===
St. Timothy was a disciple to St. Paul and his accompanier in his trips of ministry. The first
time to be mentioned was in the Holy Book of Acts at the beginning of the second ministry trip (Acts
16:1). He was from Lystra in Galatia of Asia Minor. His father was Greek and his mother and
grandmother were righteous Jews (2 Timothy 1:5). And so since his childhood he grew in the way of
righteousness and piety “and that from childhood you have known the holy scriptures which are able
to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).  As he ardently believed in the ministry of St. Paul so St. Paul used to call him his son in the
faith (1 Corinthians 4:17, 1 Timothy 1:2, and 2 Timothy 1:2). St. Paul chose him as his fellow in his
trips and his helper in the ministry because of his righteousness and gifts. St. Paul circumcised him to
prepare him for the ministry among Jews. He went with St. Paul to Phrygia, Galatia, Taroas, Philippi,
Ephesus, Macedonia, and Corinth (2 Corinthians  1:1, Romans 16:21, Acts 20:3-4). He followed St.
Paul in his last trip to Jerusalem (1 Corinthians 16:3). He was with St. Paul in his imprisonment in
Rome as he was mentioned in the Holy Epistles that St. Paul wrote from  jail (Philippians 1:1,
Colossians 1:1, and Philemon 1:1). 
He was ordained a Bishop for Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:18) and so St.  Paul wrote two Holy
Epistles to him about the duties of the priests in the ministry. St. Paul praised him for his wisdom and
righteousness (2 Timothy 1:4, 1 Timothy 5:23).  St. Paul called him “my fellow worker (Romans
16:21)”, “Our brother and minister of God and our fellow laborer in the Gospel of Christ (1
Thessalonians 3:2)”, “A true son in the faith (1 Timothy 1:2)”, “the beloved son (2 Timothy 1:2)”, and
“my beloved and faithful son in the Lord (1 Corinthians 4:17)”. 
It is mentioned by tradition that St. Timothy  lived to a very old age and was martyred in
Ephesus 97 AD by pagans.
=== St. Titus ===
He was one of St. Paul’s faithful disciples and he was mentioned in the 2nd Corinthians,
Galatians, and Titus Epistles. He was a Greek Gentile (Galatians 2: 1& 3) and converted to Christian
faith by St. Paul’s ministry and so St. Paul called him his son in the faith (Titus 1:4). He joined the
Council of Jerusalem 50 AD (Galatians 2:1). St. Paul sent him two times to Corinth (2 Corinthians
2:13) and (2 Corinthians 8: 16 & 17, 12:18). He joined St. Paul in his 2nd imprisonment in Rome (2
Timothy 4:10). St. Paul ordinated him as a Bishop for Crete and called him fellow and the laborer with
him (2 Corinthians 8:23).  He lived to a very old age and departed and was buried in Crete and so he is
their intercessor. 
=== St. Silas ===
The Apostles in Jerusalem sent him with Barnabas and Paul to Antioch, Syria and Cilicia to
declare the decisions of the Council (Acts 15:22). He was a prophet (Acts 15:22 & 23). He had the
Roman citizenship. He was a fellow for St. Paul in his second ministry trip after Barnabas had left him
(Acts 15:40, 15:18-22).  He followed St Paul in Macedonia and Philippi (Acts 16:12-39) where they
suffered persecution and imprisoned there and the Lord freed them and so the Philippian Jailer
believed (Acts 16:25-34). He followed St. Paul to Thessalonica then to Athens (Acts 17:13-15), and
Corinth (Acts 18:5).  He was martyred in Macedonia.   
== The Apostolic Fathers ==
== The Apostolic Fathers ==
=== St Clement the Roman ===
# [[St. Clement of Rome]]
# [[St. Polycarp Bishop of Smyrna]]
St Clement, the Roman, was the third Bishop of Rome as stated by St. Irenaeus. Eusabius the
scholar further elaborates that St Clement became a Bishop of Rome in the 12th year of Domitian’s
regime.  So his bishop years extended from 93AD to 101AD. 
Tertullian, the scholar, and Ibevanios Bishop of Cyprus concur that St Peter the Apostle
ordained St Clement, the Roman, a Bishop for Rome.  In order to keep peace in the Roman Church, St
Clement, left the Bishop’s See to Linos, then to Anaklitos, and after Anaklitos he then returned to his
See.  Scholars agree that St Clement had a direct relationship with St Paul and St Peter the apostles.  Origen the scholar and Eusabius  from Caesara both concur that St Paul the Apostle eulogized St
Clement in his Epistle to the Philippians “And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who
labored with me in the Gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are
in the Book of Life (Philippians 4:3).”
Letter of St Clement, the Roman, to the Corinthian Churches:
The Letter of St Clement, the Roman, to  the Corinthian Church was accepted from the
beginning as a document directly related to the Post Apostolic Era.  Its style is similar to the style of
the First Epistle to the Corinthians written by St Paul the Apostle.
Many problems developed in the Corinthian Church during the time of St Paul due to believers
not submitting and obeying the ordained legal bishop there having exiled him and some priests.  St
Clement wrote his letter to this church focusing on the bond of love and Christian agape as mentioned
by St Paul in his First Epistle chapter 8.
St Clement began his Epistle exactly as St Paul in his Epistles with this beautiful verse, “Grace
to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Chris be with you (I Corinthians 1:1) “from
the Church of God in Rome to the Church of God in Corinth (1:2).”
St Clement wrote, “Who can describe the blessed bond God is love?  Who is capable of
describing its glory?  No one can talk about the glory of Agape.  Agape unites us with God.  Love
sustains everything.  Love suffers long and is kind.  No bride is in love.  Love doesn’t allow envy. 
Love makes everything harmonious.”
“When love rules, the good deeds will follow.  Many of God’s gifts come to the believer who
does good deeds before God.”  “All the saints of the Old Testament became glorified before the Lord
not by themselves, nor their good deeds, but by God’s will.  Likewise, we are so called according to
God’s will in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are holy not by ourselves, not by our wisdom, nor by our
understanding, not by our good deeds that we did in  a pure heart but by justification in the faith
through our Lord Jesus Christ, through which all those saints were justified.  Glory be to Him forever.
So what should we do our brethren?  Do we become lazy?  Do we neglect love?  No but with
zeal and courage we should complete every good deed as the Lord and Creator of everything rejoiced
with what He did.”
Also St Clement in his teaching of eternal life and resurrection of bodies followed the same
teachings as chapter 15 in the First Epistle of St Paul to the Corinthians.
The Dogmatic Importance of the Letter:
St Clement’s Letter has great dogmatic importance as it clearly declares the dogma of apostolic
succession.  St Clement, the Roman, stated that the Christian priesthood was of great importance as it
is clearly an extension of the priesthood of the Old Testament. St Clement further stated that the
church’s Shepard hood through her bishops and priests is through apostolic succession and hierarchy,
and it is of utmost importance for the church’s witness and continuity.
“The apostles preached the Gospel which they received from the Lord Jesus Christ who
Himself brought the teachings from God the Father.  Therefore if the apostles brought their teachings
from the Lord Jesus Christ both teachings originated from God’s will.  Likewise, after they had
received their teachings, believed  in the Glorious Resurrection or  our Lord Jesus Christ, and were justified by faith departed full of the Holy Spirit to all regions of the world to preach the Holy Gospel
that the Kingdom would soon come.  From province to province and city to city they preached and
with the Holy Spirit they chose other men from among the new believers to be bishops, priests, and
deacons for the church.  The apostles knew the position of the bishop and priesthood might cause envy,
which could develop into plots and conspiracies. The apostles taught that when a church leader died,
other would be chosen who should be justified to follow them in the bishop’s position. So it is not a
faithful church that will dismiss anyone ordained for the priesthood or bishophood by the apostles or
upon approval of the entire church.
The Position of Bishop in St Clement’s Letter:
St Clement was the first to use the title “bishop” as the one who oversees.  He also called
bishop’s priests.  There was no distinction for the Roman Church as compared to the other churches,
the letter was only a trial by St Clement to overcome the envy and conspiracies in the Corinthian
Church and did not express any more dignity for the Roman Church versus the Corinthian Church. 
The concept of church meant the church as the body of the Lord Jesus Christ not limited by its locality
and so St Ignatius, bishop of Antioch wrote many letters to different churches.  All of those fathers
understood the catholicity of the church as the true and precise understanding.  They also understood it
is not right for any bishop to interfere in another church’s affairs in the scope of another bishop.  With
this in mind, one can understand why the Pope of Alexandria refused to accept Origen whom was
ordained as a priest by another bishop outside his See.  Therefore ensuring the dignity of the bishop’s
See was a respectable dogma in the primitive Church.
Conclusion of the Letter:
St Clement concluded his Epistle by Liturgical Prayer, which stated the Divinity of the Lord
Jesus Christ who is “the only beloved Son of God through whom God taught  us, sanctified us and
brought us to the Glory.”  The Lord Jesus Christ is the Supreme Pontiff and the Guard of our souls.” 
Then, St Clement sang hymns that expressed the  mercy and care of God.  Finally St Clement
concludes his letter with a prayer for the governor of the  regime, which clearly declares the
relationship between the church and state.
“O You our Master, Give them the Kingdom’s authority by your supreme and ineffable power. 
So as we confess with dignity and glory which came upon them in obedience to Your will.  Give them
O Lord the health, the peace, the strength and the ability to practice their high leadership that you gave
them.  O You, our Master, the King of Kings and the Heavenly King of ages gave the man the power,
the authority and the glory to rule over everything on the earth.  O Lord, lead their thoughts with every
good deed that is justified before You to practice in gentleness the power and authority you gave them
in peace and humbleness so they can confess Your power and Your goodness. Amen.”
This was a brief overview of St Clement’s Letter to the Corinthian Church and you can find the
entire manuscript in Ante Nicene Fathers, Vol.1. 
=== St. Polycarp Bishop of Smyrna ===
St. Polycarp was born in 70 A D to a Christian family who received its faith from the very
Apostles of Lord Jesus.  In these Apostolic times, the young Church lived  and was strengthened by
visits of the Apostles and their disciples. They had already warned of difficult times in their Epistles,
calling the Christians too that "you say also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed " (1 Peter:
13).  St. Polycarp was chosen by the bishop as his personal secretary; and later, when he was forty
years old became the Bishop of Smyrna.  There, he remained for 86 years of his life, faithfully serving
the Church.
St. Polycarp was one of the most illustrious of the Apostolic Fathers, who, being the immediate
disciples of the apostles, received instructions from their mouths, and inherited of them the spirit of the
Lord Jesus Christ in a degree so much the more eminent as they lived nearer the fountain head. He
embraced Christianity very young, about the year 80, was a disciple of the Apostles, in particular of St.
John the Evangelist, and was constituted by him Bishop of Smyrna, probably before his banishment to
Patmos in 96 AD.
He seems to have been the angel or Bishop of Smyrna who was commended above all the
bishops of Asia by the Lord Jesus Christ himself in the Apocalypse, and the only one without a
reproach. Our Savior encouraged him under his poverty, tribulation, and persecutions, especially the
calumnies of the Jews, called him rich in grace,  and promised him the crown of life by martyrdom
(Revelation 2:8-10). 
This saint was respected by the faithful to  a degree of veneration. He formed many holy
disciples, among who were St. Irenaeus and Papias. When Florinus, who had often visited St.
Polycarp, had broached certain heresies, St. Irenaeus wrote to him as follows: "These things were not
taught you by the bishops who preceded us. I could tell you the place where the blessed Polycarp sat to
preach the word of God. It is yet present to my mind with what gravity he everywhere came in and
went out; what was the sanctity of his deportment, the majesty of his countenance and of his whole
exterior, and what his holy exhortations to the people were. I seem to hear him now relate how he
conversed with John and many others who had seen Jesus Christ; the words he had heard from their
mouths. I can protest before God that if this holy bishop had heard of any error like yours, he would
have immediately stopped his ears, and cried out, according to his custom, Good God! That I should be
reserved to these times to hear such things! That very instant he would have fled out of the place in
which he had heard such doctrine." 
St. Jerome mentions that St. Polycarp met at Rome the heretic Marcion in the streets, who
resenting that the holy bishop did not take that notice of him which he expected, said to him, "Do you
not know me, Polycarp?" "Yes," answered the saint, "I know you to be the firstborn of Satan." He had
learned this abhorrence of the authors of heresy, who knowingly and willingly  adulterate the divine
truths, from his master, St. John, who fled out of the bath in which he saw Cerinthus.
St. Polycarp kissed with respect the chains of St. Ignatius, who passed by Smyrna on the road
to his martyrdom, and who recommended to our saint the care and comfort of his distant Church of
Antioch, which he repeated to him in a letter from Troas, desiring him to write in his name to those
churches of Asia to which he had not leisure to  write himself. St. Polycarp wrote a letter to the
Philippians shortly after, which is highly commended by St. Irenaeus, St. Jerome, Eusabius, Photius,
and others, and is still extant. It is justly admired both for the excellent instructions it contains and for
the simplicity and perspicuity of the style, and was publicly read in the church in Asia in St. Jerome's
time. In it he calls a heretic, as above, the eldest son of Satan. 
About the year 158 he undertook a journey of charity to Rome, to confer with Pope Anicetus
about certain points of discipline, especially about the time of keeping Easter, for the Asiatic churches
kept it on the fourteenth day of the vernal equinoctial moon, as the Jews did, on whatever day of the
week it fell; whereas Rome, Egypt, and all the West observed it on the Sunday following. It was agreed that both might follow their custom without breaking the bands of charity. St. Anicetus, to
testify his respect, yielded to him the honor of celebrating the Eucharist in his own church. 
St. Polycarp’s Martyrdom:
St. Polycarp’s martyrdom was mentioned in a letter which was soon afterward written by the
Christians at Smyrna to the Christians at Philomenius. This letter has come to be called the Acts of the
Martyrdom of Saint Polycarp:
In the sixth year of Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, Statius Quadratus being proconsul of
Asia, a violent persecution broke out in that country, in which the faithful gave heroic proofs of their
courage and love of God, to the astonishment of the infidels. When they were torn to pieces with
scourges till their very bowels were laid bare, amidst the moans and tears of the spectators, who were
moved with pity at the sight of their torments, not one of them gave so much as a single groan, so little
regard had they for their own flesh in the cause of God. No kinds of torture, no inventions of cruelty,
were forborne to force them to conformity to the pagan worship of the times. 
The year Polycarp was martyred, there was a  civil celebration in Smyrna, and games were
being held at the local amphitheater. A well-known Christian boy named  Aereanicus had been
martyred, preferring to fight the beasts rather than to follow pagan practices, the alternative given to
him.  When he had been slain by the animals, the Christians were accused of having brain washed him
into doing such a foolish thing as prefer death to a "simple sacrifice".  The mob began shouting; "Bring
us Polycarp!"
When St. Polycarp heard of these events, he was not disturbed, and desired to remain in the
city. But the faithful were able to convince him to withdraw to a farm nearby with a few friends.  St.
Polycarp prayed night and day, for all men and for the churches throughout the world.  One night while
he was praying, St. Polycarp had a vision, seeing his pillow blazing with flames.  He came to his
friends and said, "I must be burned Alive."
Herod, the Irenarch, or keeper of the peace, whose office it was to prevent misdemeanors and
apprehend malefactors, sent horsemen by night to arrest St. Polycarp. Now, the soldiers who were
searching for him arrived at Polycarp’s own house, and when they could not find him, they seized two
young servant boys. One broke down under their torture and betrayed where the bishop had gone.  And
late in the evening of that Friday, they rode to the farm.  They took the servant boy with them and
found St. Polycarp in bed in the upper room of the small cottage.  When he heard of their arrival he
went downstairs and talked with them.  St. Polycarp knew why they had come and greeted them.  The
soldiers became upset that there had been such an uproar and eagerness to arrest such an old man.  St.
Polycarp ordered a meal for the band of captors, and asked them to give him an hour or so in order that
he might pray.  This was granted. The soldiers were astonished to see the bishop pray intently for two
hours, remembering the names and the needs of so many of his and the whole church with so much
earnestness and devotion that several of those that were come to seize him repented they had
undertaken the commission. They set him on an ass, and were conducting him towards the city when
he was met on the road by Herod and his father  Nicetes, who took him into their chariot, and
endeavored to persuade him to a little compliance, saying, "What harm is there in saying Lord Caesar,
or even in sacrificing, to escape death?" By the word Lord was meant nothing less than a kind of deity
or godhead. The bishop at first was silent, in imitation of our Savoir, but being pressed, he gave them
this resolute answer, "I shall never do what you desire of me." At these words, taking off the mask of
friendship and compassion, they treated him with scorn and reproaches, and  thrust him out of the
chariot with such violence that his leg was bruised by the fall.  The holy man went forward cheerfully to the place where the people were assembled. Upon his
entering it a voice from Heaven was heard by many, "Polycarp, be courageous, and act manfully." He
was led directly to the tribunal of the proconsul, who exhorted him to respect his own age, to swear by
the genius of Caesar, and to say, "Take away the impious," meaning the Christians. The saint, turning
towards the people in the pit, said, with a stern countenance, "Exterminate the wicked," meaning by
this expression either a wish that they might cease to be wicked by their conversion to the faith of the
Lord Jesus Christ, or this was a prediction of the calamity which befell their city in 177, when Smyrna
was overturned by an earthquake, as we read in Dion and Aristides. The proconsul repeated, "Swear by
the genius of Caesar, and I discharge you; blaspheme Christ." St. Polycarp replied, "I have served him
these fourscore and six years, and he never did me any harm, but much good, and how can I blaspheme
my King and my Savoir? If you require of me to swear by the genius of Caesar, as you call it, hear my
free confession- I am a Christian; but if you desire to learn the Christian religion, appoint a time, and
hear me." The proconsul said, "Persuade the people." The martyr replied, "I addressed my discourse to
you, for we are taught to give due  honor to princes as far as is consistent  with religion. But the
populace is an incompetent judge to justify myself before." Indeed rage rendered them incapable of
hearing him. 
The proconsul then assuming a tone of severity, said: "I have wild beasts." "Call for them,"
replied the saint: "for we are unalterably resolved not to change from good to evil. It is only good to
pass from evil to good." The proconsul said: "If you contemn the beasts, I will cause you to be burnt to
ashes." Polycarp answered: "You threaten me with a fire which burns for a short time and then goes
out, but are yourself ignorant of the judgment to come, and of the fire of everlasting torments which is
prepared for the wicked. Why do you delay? Bring against me what you please." Whilst he said this
and many other things, he appeared in a transport of joy and confidence, and his countenance shone
with a certain heavenly grace and pleasant cheerfulness, insomuch that the proconsul himself was
struck with admiration. However, he ordered a crier to make public proclamation three times in the
middle of the Stadium (as was the Roman custom in capital cases): "Polycarp hath confessed himself a
Christian." At this proclamation the whole multitude of Jews and Gentiles gave a great shout, the latter
crying out, "This is the great teacher of Asia; the father of the Christians; the destroyer of our gods,
who preaches to men not to sacrifice to or adore them." They applied to Philip the Asiarch to let loose
a lion upon St. Polycarp. He told them that it was not in his power, because those shows had been
closed. Then they unanimously demanded that he should be burnt alive. 
Their request was no sooner granted but every one ran with all speed to fetch wood from the
baths and shops. The pile being prepared, St. Polycarp put off his garments, untied his girdle, and
began to take off his shoes, an office he had not been accustomed to, the Christians having always
striven who should do these things for him, regarding it as a happiness to be admitted to touch him.
The wood and other combustibles were heaped all round him. 
The executioners would have nailed him to the stake; but he said to them: "Suffer me to be as I
am. He who gives me grace to undergo this fire will enable me to stand still without that precaution."
They therefore contented themselves with tying his hands behind his back, and in this posture looking
up towards heaven, he prayed as follows: "O Almighty Lord God, Father of thy beloved and blessed
Son Jesus Christ, by whom we have received the knowledge of thee, God of angels, powers, and every
creature, and of all the race of the just that live in thy presence! I bless thee for having been pleased in
thy goodness to bring me to this hour, that I may receive a portion in the number of thy martyrs, and
partake of the chalice of thy Christ, for the resurrection to eternal life, in the incorruptibleness of the
Holy Spirit. Amongst whom grant me to be received this day as a pleasing sacrifice, such a one as thou thyself hast prepared, that so  thou majesty accomplish what thou,  O true and faithful God! Hast
foreshown. Wherefore, for all things I praise, bless, and glorify thee, through the eternal high priest
Jesus Christ, thy beloved Son, with whom, to Thee  and the Holy Spirit be glory now and for ever.
He had scarce said Amen when fire was set to the pile, which increased to a mighty flame. But
behold a wonder, say the authors of these acts, seen by us reserved to attest it to others; the flames
forming themselves into an arch, like the sails of a ship swelled with the wind, gently encircled the
body of the martyr, which stood in the middle, resembling not roasted flesh, but purified gold or silver,
appearing bright through the flames; and his body sending forth such a fragrance that we seemed to
smell precious spices. The blind infidels were only exasperated to see his body could not be consumed,
and ordered a spearman to pierce him through, which he did, and such a quantity of blood issued out of
his left side as to quench the fire. 
The malice of the devil ended not here: he endeavored to obstruct the relics of the martyr being
carried off by the Christians; for many desired to do it, to show their respect to his body. Therefore, by
the suggestion of Satan, Nicetes advised the proconsul not to bestow it on the Christians, lest, said he,
abandoning the crucified man, they should adore Polycarp: the Jews suggested this, "Not knowing,"
say the authors of the acts of martyrs, "that we can never forsake Christ, nor adore any other, though
we love the martyrs, as his disciples and imitators, for the great love they bore their king and master."
The centurion, seeing a contest raised by the Jews, placed the body in the middle, and burnt it to ashes.
"We afterwards took up the bones," say they, "more precious than the richest jewels or gold, and
deposited them decently in a place at which may God grant us to assemble with joy, to celebrate the
birthday of the martyr." It was at two o'clock in the afternoon, which the authors of the acts of martyrs
call the eighth hour, in the year 166, that St. Polycarp received his crown, according to Tillemont; but
in 169, according to Basnage. His tomb is still shown with great veneration at Smyrna, in a small
chapel. St. Irenaeus speaks of St. Polycarp as being of an uncommon age.
The Epistle of St. Polycarp to the Philippians
The epistle of St. Polycarp to the Philippians, which is the only one among those which he
wrote that has been preserved, is a standing proof of the apostolic spirit with which he was animated,
and of that profound humility, perfect meekness, burning charity, and holy zeal, of which his life was
so admirable an example. The beginning is an effusion of spiritual joy and charity with which he was
transported at the happiness of their conversion to God, and their fervor in divine love. His extreme
abhorrence of heresy makes him immediately fall upon that of the Docaetae against which he arms the
faithful, by clearly demonstrating that Christ was truly made man, died, and rose again: in which his
terms admirably express his most humble and affectionate devotion to our divine Redeemer, under
these great mysteries of love. Besides walking in truth, he takes notice, that to be raised with Christ in
glory, we must also do his will, keep all his commandments, and love whatever he loved; refraining
from all fraud, avarice, detraction, and rash judgment; repaying evil with good forgiving and showing
mercy to others that we ourselves may find mercy. "These things," says he, "I write to you on justice,
because you incited me; for neither I, nor any other like me, can attain to the wisdom of the blessed
and glorious Paul, into whose epistles if you look, you may raise your spiritual fabric by strengthening
faith, which is our mother, hope following, and  charity towards God, Christ, and our neighbor
preceding us. He who has charity is far from all sin." The saint gives short instructions to every
particular state, then adds, "Every one who hath not confessed that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is
antichrist; and who hath not confessed the suffering of the cross, is of the devil; and who hath drawn
the oracles of the Lord to his passions, and hath said that there is no resurrection nor judgment, he is
the oldest son of Satan." He exhorts to watching always in prayer, lest we be led into temptation; to be constant in fasting, persevering, joyful in hope, and in the pledge of our justice, which is Christ Jesus,
imitating his patience; for, by suffering for his name, we glorify him. To encourage them to suffer, he
reminds them of those who had suffered before their eyes: Ignatius, Zozimus, and Rufus, and some of
their own congregation, "who are now," says our saint, "in the place which is due to them with the
Lord, with whom they also suffered."
== Servant Women ==
== Servant Women ==
=== Phoebe ===
# [[Phoebe]]
# [[Priscilla]]
She is the most famous woman mentioned in the Holy Epistles of St. Paul. She came before
# [[St. Thekla, the Martyr]]
men in the Holy Epistle to the Romans “I commended to you Phoebe our sister who is a servant of the
church in Cenchrea, that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist
her in whatever business she has need of you for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself
also (Romans 16:1&2)”. She was a virgin and St. Paul mentioned her as a deacon serving women in
the Church of Cenchrea in Corinth. She was the writer for St. Paul in the Holy Epistle to the Romans
and also she carried that Holy Epistle to them. 
=== Priscilla ===
She and his husband Aquila were the perfect example of the true Christian marriage as St. John
the Chrysostom said. They lived in Rome and left to Corinth when the emperor Claudius exiled all
Jews from Rome and there St. Paul met them in his second trip of ministry (Acts 18:2). They hosted St.
Paul in their house for one and a half years. They were like St. Paul tents makers. They followed St.
Paul to Ephesus where they stayed there and their house became a Church. St. Paul met them again in
Ephesus during his 3rd trip and so he wrote “Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily in the Lord with
the church in their house (1 Corinthians 16:19).”
They returned to Rome and continued their ministry and so St. Paul sent his greetings to them
in his Holy Epistle to Romans “Greet Priscilla and Aquila my fellow workers in Christ Jesus who
risked their own necks for my life to whom not only I give thanks but also all churches of the gentiles”
(Romans 16:3-5). 
Again they left Rome returning back to Asia Minor especially Ephesus to continue their
ministry and so St. Paul wrote to Timothy “Greet Priscilla and Aquila” (2 Timothy 4:19). It is clear
that St. Priscilla and her husband were highly educated in addition to their righteousness as the Holy
Book of Acts mentioned that they taught Apollos from Alexandria the Orthodox faith in the Lord
although Apollos was fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord though he
knew the baptism of John (Acts 18:24-26). She is a role model for the Christian married woman.
=== St. Thekla, the Martyr ===
She was a virgin and a disciple of St. Paul from Iconium. She was rich, beautiful and engaged
to one of the well-to-do men in Iconium (Acts 13:51). When St. Paul arrived at Iconium in his first
ministry’s trip she believed in his ministry and so vowed to be a virgin for the Lord. When her mother
discovered her faith she went and betrayed her to the governor of Iconium who persecuted her with
different sufferings and pains.  He threw her in fire but the Lord sent heavy rain which extinguished
the flames and so she was saved. She followed St. Paul to Antioch and ministered to pagan women
there. In Antioch, the governor also persecuted her and threw her to the wild animals naked three times
for three days but the Lord saved her. After that he threw her in a pit filled with snakes but the Lord
saved her. She went after that to her home land in Iconium and ministered there, then went to Syria
where she lived the hermitic life and the Lord granted her the gift of healing sickness. She departed at the age of 90 years and was buried in Solicaia of Syria. Because of her great sufferings and pains, the
church called her martyr.

Latest revision as of 19:02, 12 October 2012

The Twelve Disciples & Apostles

  1. St. Peter the Apostle
  2. St. Andrew the Apostle
  3. St. James the Elder
  4. St. James the Beloved
  5. St. James the Just
  6. St. Philip the Apostle
  7. St. Bartholomew the Apostle
  8. St. Thomas the Apostle
  9. St. Matthew the Apostle
  10. St. Judas the Apostle
  11. St. Simon the Canaanite
  12. St. Barnabas the Apostle
  13. St. Mark the Evangelist and Beholder of God
  14. St. Luke the Apostle

The Apostles’ Assistants

  1. St. Timothy
  2. St. Titus
  3. St. Silas

The Apostolic Fathers

  1. St. Clement of Rome
  2. St. Polycarp Bishop of Smyrna

Servant Women

  1. Phoebe
  2. Priscilla
  3. St. Thekla, the Martyr