The Synaxis of the Holy Twelve Apostles
In the lists of the Twelve disciples who are recorded in the New Testament, the name Matthew is mentioned. He calls himself this in the list of disciples he quotes in his Gospel (Matth. 10, 3), and also in the narrative of his call to the role of apostle.
This Apostle was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and was the son of Zebedee and Salome, and the brother of James the elder. First a fisherman by trade, he became an Apostle and the beloved Disciple of Christ. Only he of all the Disciples followed Him even to the Cross, and was entrusted with the care of our Saviour’s Mother, as it were another son to her, and a brother of Christ the Teacher. After this, he preached throughout Asia Minor, especially in Ephesus.
The majority of Protestants use the Scriptural references of “Elders”, “Bishops” and “Deacons” to support their view that the current Orthodox ecclesiastical order is not a continuation of the order that the Apostles left us. They say this, because in the New Testament it is clearly apparent that although the three terms of “Bishop, Elder and Deacon” are mentioned therein, the concepts of “Bishop” and “Elder” are presumed identical and not separate offices, as is the case in the Orthodox Church.
And when he was sent by our Lord to preach, as I suppose, he heard how our Lord said to him: “Go, my disciple, to preach, void out of this country, and go fight and be capax of [valiant in] perils. I have first accomplished and finished the works of My Father, and am first witness; fill thou the vessel that is necessary and follow thy Master, love thy Lord, give thy blood for His blood, and thy flesh for His flesh, and suffer that which He had suffered; let thine armor be debonair in thy sweatings, and suffer sweetly among wicked people and be patient among them that perish thee.”
The Holy Apostle Bartholomew was born at Cana of Galilee and was one of the Twelve Apostles of Christ. After the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, it fell by lot to the holy Apostles Bartholomew and Philip (November 14) to preach the Gospel in Syria and Asia Minor. In their preaching they wandered through various cities, and then met up again. Accompanying the holy Apostle Philip was his sister, the holy virgin St Mariamnne.
Besides the Twelve Greater Apostles, the Lord chose Seventy Lesser Apostles and sent them to preach the Gospel, “After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place He intended to visit, He said to them, ` The harvest is abundant but […]