Apostle Barnabas
Apostle Bartholomew

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11-06-2016 All day

Barnabas the Holy Apostle

Barnabas_the_Holy_ApostleSaint Barnabas, one of the Seventy, was from Cyprus, of the tribe of Levi, and a fellow disciple with Paul under Gamaliel. He was called Joses, but was renamed Barnabas, which means “son of consolation,” perhaps to distinguish him from the Joses called Barsabas and surnamed Justus (Acts 1:23). Saint Barnabas had a field, which he sold and brought the money to the Apostles (Acts 4:36-37). Before the conversion of Saul to Paul, it was Barnabas who was the leader of the Seventy Apostles, the first in preaching and chief spokesman. After Saul’s vision on the road to Damascus, it was Barnabas who joined him to the Apostles when the others, because of Saul’s reputation as a persecutor of the Church, still feared him (Acts 9:26-27); again it was Saint Barnabas who conscripted Paul as a preacher, bringing him from Tarsus to Antioch after the stoning of Stephen, to assist in spreading the Gospel (Acts 11:25-26). Saint Barnabas preached the Gospel in many places, traveled together with Paul, and finally was stoned to death by the Jews in his native Cyprus. During the reign of Zeno, in the year 478, his sacred relics were found, having on his chest the Gospel according to Matthew written in Greek by Barnabas’ own hand. This Gospel was brought to Zeno. Because of this the Church of Cyprus received the right of autonomy, and its archbishop was given the privilege, like the emperor, of signing his decrees and encyclicals in vermilion.

Apolytikion of Apostle Barnabas in the Third Tone

O Holy Apostles, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.

Kontakion of Apostle Barnabas in the Third Tone

To thy Lord, O Barnabas, thou wast a genuine servant; and among the Seventy Apostles, thou wast the foremost; and with Paul, thou shonest brightly in thy wise preaching, making known unto all men Christ Jesus, the Saviour. For this cause, we celebrate thy divine memorial with hymns and spiritual songs.

 

Bartholomew the Apostle

Bartholomew_4x6[1]Saint Bartholomew was one of the Twelve Apostles, and had Galilee as his homeland; this is all that is known of him for certain according to the history of the Gospels. Concerning his apostolic work, certain say that he preached in Arabia and Persia, and especially in India, bringing to them the Gospel written by Saint Matthew, which had been written originally in Hebrew, and which was found there one hundred years later by Pantaenus, formerly a stoic philosopher and later an illustrious teacher of the Christian school in Alexandria (see Eusebius, Eccl. Hist., 5: 10). Other accounts say that he went to Armenia. According to some, he ended his life by being crucified, or by being flayed alive, in Albanopolis (Urbanopolis) of Armenia. This also confirms an ancient tradition preserved by the Armenians. According to some, Bartholomew and Nathanael are the same person, because the Evangelists who mention Bartholomew do not mention Nathanael; and John, who alone mentions Nathanael as one of the Twelve, says nothing of Bartholomew. Indeed, Bartholomew is a patronymic, “son of Talmai,” which means “bold, spirited” (see also Jesus of Navi 15:14; II Kings 3:3), and Nathanael could have had this as a surname. According to the Synaxarion of the Menaion on April 22, however, it is Simon the Zealot and Nathanael who are the same; the Evangelists who mention Simon the Zealot (or “the Canaanite”) do not mention Nathanael.

Apolytikion of Apostle Bartholomew in the Third Tone

O Holy Apostles, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.

Kontakion of Apostle Bartholomew in the Fourth Tone

To the Church thou hast appeared as a great daystar; with thy teachings as thy rays and beams of awesome miracles, thou hast enlightened those praising thee, the Lord’s Apostle, O sacred Bartholomew.

 

Revelation of the Hymn Axion Estin to a monk on Mount Athos by the Archangel Gabriel

revelation_of_the_hymn_axion_estin_to_a-monk_on_mt-_athos_by_the_archangel_gabrielThe Synaxis of the Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos is celebrated today for the following reason: In 980, during the reign of Emperor Basil II, when Nicholas Chrysoberges was Ecumenical Patriarch, the holy Archangel Gabriel appeared in the guise of a monk to the disciple of a certain elder living in a hermitage belonging to the Monastery of Pantocrator on the Holy Mountain. During Matins, after the monk had chanted the customary hymn, “More honorable than the Cherubim…,” composed by Saint Cosmas the Hymnographer, the Angel chanted the same hymn, but with the following prelude: “It is truly meet to call thee blest, the Theotokos, the ever-blessed and all-immaculate and Mother of our God.” Marveling at the hymn’s beauty, the monk asked his visitor – who appeared also to be a monk – to record this new text in writing, which the Angel did by miraculously inscribing the words on a piece of slate, using only his finger, and straightway he vanished from sight. This slate was brought to the Church of the Protaton, and from thence to Constantinople, to the imperial court and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as evidence of the miracle. Henceforth, this version of the hymn to the Most Holy Theotokos began to be chanted in the Divine Liturgy in all the churches. The place where the miracle took place is now called Adein, from the Greek word which means “to sing.” The icon itself, before which this hymn was first chanted, is called “the icon of the Axion estin” (“It is truly meet”) and it is kept in the sanctuary of the Church of the Protaton on the Holy Mountain.

Apolytikion of Revelation of Axion Estin in the Fourth Tone

Ye hosts of the Fathers of Mount Athos, gather today, and shout with a voice of jubilation, leaping for joy, and faithfully keeping feast: For, behold, the praise of the most pure Theotokos wondrously and awesome is sung by the Angel; and therefore, as the Mother of God, we glorify her name.

Kontakion of Revelation of Axion Estin in the Fourth Tone

All of Athos keepeth feast this day in gladness; for it wondrously received from an Archangel’s holy hand the hymn whereby thou hast ever been praised as the Mother of God, as is truly meet.