The Holy Disciples from the 70: Sosthenes, Apollos, Cephas, Caesarius and Epaphrodites

Commemorated on March 30, January 4

      The Holy Disciples from the 70: Sosthenes, Apollos, Cephas, Caesarius and Epaphrodites: The Disciple Sosthenes before his conversion was head of the Corinthian synagogue. The Apostle Paul converted him to Christianity and made him his helper in his work. In addressing the Corinthian Church, the apostle Paul sent greetings to it from both of them: "Paul, by the will of God called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ, and brother Sosthenes..." (1 Cor 1: 1). Afterwards, the holy disciple Sosthenes was made bishop at Colophon (Asia Minor).
      In the Acts of the holy Apostles it tells the following about the holy Disciple Apollos: "A certain Jew, by the name of Apollos, born at Alexandria, eloquent and conversant with Scripture, came to Ephesus. He was instructed in the fundamentals of the way of the Lord and, being fervent of spirit, he spoke and taught about the Lord rightly, knowing only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. Hearing him, Aquila and Priscilla took him and more precisely explained to him the way of the Lord. And when he resolved to go to Achaeia, the brethren then wrote to the disciples of that place, urging them to receive him; and he, having come thither, much assisted those believing by grace, since he powerfully confuted the Jews in public, shewing by the Scriptures, that Jesus is the Christ" (Acts 18: 24-28). Saint Apollos much assisted the Apostle Paul. The Apostle Paul speaks thus about the spread of Christianity among the Corinthians: "I sowed, Apollos watered, but God did grow it" (1 Cor 3: 6). Saint Apollos was later bishop at Smyrna (Asia Minor).
      The holy Disciple Cephas was according to tradition bishop at Iconium. Accounts about him have not been preserved. It is presumed, that it is about him that the Apostle Paul makes mention (1 Cor 15: 5).
      The holy Disciple Epaphrodites was a companion of the Apostle Paul who, having sent him to the Philippian christians, speaks thus about his own hard work on the field of Christ: "...I am honoured to send you of necessity Epaphrodites, my brother and co-worker and companion, your messenger and servant in my need... he was sick nigh to death; but God had mercy on him, and not only him but also me, so as not to add sorrow upon sorrow for me... Accept him in the Lord with all joy, and so hold him in esteem, since for the work of Christ was near death, subjecting life to peril, so as to make up the insufficiency of your service to me" (Phil 2: 25-30). Saint Epaphrodites was bishop at Adrianium (Italy). The commemoration of these holy disciples is also [8 December] and contained as well in the Sobor / Assemblage of the 70 Disciples on 4 January.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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