Synaxis of the 12 Apostles
We celebrate the Synaxis of the 12 Apostles the day after the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. The purpose of honouring the apostles together (rather than just on their individual feast days) is to commemorate their role in spreading the Gospel. So this week we will look at an easy way to memorize who the 12 Apostles are. And we will list where they evangelized, according to tradition.
Remembering the 12 Apostles with BAPTISM
B – Bartholomew
Bartholomew brought the Gospel to Armenia, India, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey. (Bartholomew’s original name may have been Nathaniel, but that wouldn’t help us memorize the names of the Apostles with the acronym BAPTISM).
A – Andrew
Andrew spread the Gospel in Georgia, Greece, Turkey, and Macedonia. However, there is also a tradition that St. Andrew came to the shores of Ukraine.
P – Peter, and Phillip
Peter preached in Jerusalem, in Antioch, and Judea. And then Saint Peter evangelized in Rome.
Phillip brought the Gospel to Greece, Syria, and Turkey.
T – Thomas
Thomas brought the Gospel to Iraq first, then Iran, India, and China. And of all the Apostles, we recognize Saint Thomas for traveling the farthest!
I – Jude Thaddius (Iudaeus), John the Theologian(Ioannes), James the brother of John (Iacobus), and James the Lesser (Iacobus)
Jude Thaddius brought the Gospel to Armenia, Iran, Judea, Persia, Samaria, Syria, and Libya. And it is possible he also preached in Lebanon.
John spent a long time in Jerusalem, then he preached the Gospel in Asia Minor, Rome, Greece, and Turkey.
James the brother of John spread the Gospel in Iberia and Judea.
S – Simon (the Zealot)
Simon the Zealot spread the Gospel in North Africa, the Middle East, and Egypt.
M – Matthew, Matthias
Matthew brought the Gospel from Judea to Ethiopia, Iran, Macedonia, and Syria.
Matthias, who replaced Judas, spread the Gospel in Judea and Ethiopia.
Prayers and Tropars
Bible Readings of the 12 Apostles:
Matthew 10:1-11:1 – Sending the 12 Apostles on a Mission (with Judas)
Mark 3:13-19 and Luke 6:12-16 – Jesus selecting the 12 Apostles (including Judas)
Acts 1:12-26 – Matthias is selected as the new 12th Apostle
Troparion: (tone 8)
O Saints, your message has spread throughout the world. For receiving the spirit in tongues of fire, you torched the idols’ deceit. With the net of your words, you caught those who were lost and brought them to faith. Therefore the heavens declare your glory. And the firmament which God created adds its voice. And we with them cry out, feasting your memory. Save us all, O God, by the prayers of your twelve apostles!
Kontakion: (tone 2)
Today Christ the Rock valiantly glorifies the rock of faith, the most splendid of the disciples, along with Paul and the council of the twelve. As we celebrate their memory, with faith we glorify the One who glorified them.
Prokeimenon: (tone 8)
Their utterance has gone forth into all the earth, and their words into the ends of the world
Verse: the heavens tell the glory of God, and the firmament declares the work of His hand.
The Byzantine Life
Thank you for checking out this week’s article. And now you can read our article on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul if you missed it. Or our article on Equals to the Apostles Sts. Helen and Constantine (with a bit in it about what it means to be called an Apostle in the East)!
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