Posts Tagged ‘Apostle’

June 29 the Feast of The Glorious and First among Apostles Peter and Paul in the Church and What were the names of The twelve Apostles

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

saint-Glorious-Apostle-Peter-and-Paul-holy-orthodox-icon

Saint Apostle Peter and Paul are the most glorious of all Christ desciples thanks to whom by God's mercy and Grace the nations have received the good news of the Lord Jesus's Christ Crucifix for the sins of all us the sinful people whose evils and unthankfullness is on the way to reach its climax in this days of apostacy where the Church built on top of the Holy Martyrs blood and the Blood and tortures for Christ and the Truth of this two holy man is in one of its biggest temptetation caused by the Coronavirus hysteria exeggerated by the mass-media and purposing to mark a slavery upon human mind and took away the freedoms of man and change the life as we know it.

The Holy Apostles day is the End of the post-Pentecostal fasting which is in the Church from the ancient days of the Church. Rhe date selected being the anniversary of either their death or the translation of their relics.

Fasting is among the 4 main fasts in the One Holy Orthodox Church and the feast in the number of the biggest feasts of the Church. If one reads the historical records for all the places this two simple man was to preach the Gospel he is puzzled and couldn't comprehend how could it be for a simple Roman and a Fisherman to be able to walk through so many lands by boats, ships, through rivers, by carrets, on horses, donkeys, axes, elephants and God knows what kind of other animals typical for the multiple countries and lands this two most holy man has visit. 
It is even more amazing that their frutis of faith planted in the nations are still present today in so many Christians through the world …

The saint Peter and Paul fasting has been set for the reason the Apostles, have fasted immediately after Pentecost the descent of the Holy spirit over The desciples of Christ on the 50th day after the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The feast has been setup because the Apostles immerse joy of the Holy Spirit who filled their heart spirits, soul and body made them understood how much dirty and how much in sin they and all the humanity is and how much cleanness is necessery in order for them to start their hard mission of spreading the fact of the Resurrection they have witnessed with their own eyes. A small bracket to open here that Saint Paul never had the  chance to see in Body the Savior just like Saint Paul and the rest of the Apostles, but he was illuminated by The Lord Jesus Christ's appearance to him on the road of the mask when he was on a journey to hunt for christians and put them to court and to death.

Saint Paul was so fierce (by his zillotism) for the Old Testamental Jewish pharisee faith who was based on human interpretation of God's laws, that he was even physically present on the Killing of Saint Archideacon Stephan.
Saint Paul was the one holding the dresses of the Killers of the first Christian martyr St. Stephan thinking that this devilish deed was truthful and pleasant to God. 
But God loved Saint Paul for his Zilotism and his heart aiming to know the Truth and because of that on the Road to Damascus appeared, blinding him from the unbearable light that was emitted by the Lord Jesus Christ who has answered the simple prayer of St. Paul who was honestly looking for the truth. On the Question Saint Paul asked the Unknown bright man who appeared in Glory and surrounded by Angels and Archangels he asked "Who are you Lord"? The reply came, 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting'." Acts of the Holy Apostles 9:4-5.

This moment changed Paul forever to make him from a fierce persecutor to a truthful desciple. However as it is said in the Holy Scriptures noone who sees the Lord can't stay alive in the Flesh and perhaps due to that the appearance of Christ left St. Paul to be blind for 3 days until God sent Ananias to heal his eyes by the ordination of Hands in the name of Jesus Christ – again a miracle of God aiming to strengthen the weakness of Faith of Saint Paul and stimulate him to continue on the way of Salvation. Even after the healing of his eyes, later in his eyes by God's providence the eyesight of Paul become weak again and he had to dictate his Apostle letters in the New Testament to his desciples who put it on paper and quite rarely write with his own hand due to his visionary problems. But apperantly the weak physical eye sight doesn't always mean a blindness as with his spiritual eyes the holy apostle was seeing much more than with his physical eyes and one weakness of seeing the physical let him contemplate the eternal.

It is little known fact that saint Paul among with his preaching the Gospel everywhere he went had a profession of making Tents and has worked hardly along with praying day and night, and the sleepless nights of vigil, the tortures by different anti-christians, jews, pagans, philosophers, magicians and others multitude of people who led by his spiritual blindness and passions has done multiple evils and tried in all means to stop Paul to preach the Gospel. But they did not succeeded and we see today the Result as there is rarely a man in the civillized world in all continents who doesn't heard or know about him 20-teen centuries after his martyrdom in the Capital of Roman Empire Rome.

saint-Paul-and-Peter-holy-icon

Saint Peter on the other hand was known for his simplicity and he like all of us was suffering of sickness of weakness of faith, he even rejected to know Christ thrice on the Christ trial, even though he was with Christ for the 3.5 years of Christ's preaching his Salvation Way to the world. But again just like with Paul, God made the miracle of preliminary foretelling him the future, warning him that he is about to reject Christ as his teacher a fact that occured just like prophecised by Christ earlier. Saint Peter seeing that The Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God knows the future believed him and recover his trust in the Resurrection and with repentance came to believe and await the Resurrection of Christ which by the mercy of God he soon saw with his own eys. Soon after this mercy of God and his preparation with the Eyes of Christ and his desires to follow the will of God for his life led him to completely sacrifice all he had in his remaining earthly life for Christ. Saint Peter "Simon" (Σίμων Simōn in Greek), means stone and he is called that way for the fact he become a stone on which the Church of Christ was build and this stone is present their in the Church and everyone in both Christians and not Christians knows him well.

Saint-Apostle-Paul-and-Peter-embrace

 

In a dialogue between Jesus and his disciples (Matthew 16:13–19), Jesus asks, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" The disciples give various answers. When he asks "Who do you say that I am?", Simon Peter answers, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Jesus then declares:

Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Cephas (Peter) (Petros), and on this rock (petra) I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

Saint Peter is known to have been in Antioch and Corinth and many other lands and is believed to have been the First PopSaint-Apostle-Paul-and-Peter-embrace.jpge of Rome.

Saint-Apostle-Peter-Crucifix-with-head-downed-cross-as-he-said-he-is-unworthy-to-die-as-the-saviour

Early Church tradition says that Peter probably died by crucifixion (with arms outstretched) at the time of the Great Fire of Rome in the year 64. This took place three months after the disastrous fire that destroyed Rome for which the emperor (Nero) wished to blame the Christians. This "dies imperii" (regnal day anniversary) was an important one, exactly ten years after Nero ascended to the throne, and it was "as usual" accompanied by much bloodshed. Traditionally, Roman authorities sentenced him to death by crucifixion. In accordance with the apocryphal Acts of Peter, he was crucified head down. Tradition also locates his burial place where the Basilica of Saint Peter was later built, directly beneath the Basilica's high altar.

On the next day 30th of June the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and some of the other Eastern Orthodox Churches celebrate another great feast The Assembly of the 12 Apostles which honors all the 12 Apostles who were the main building blocks whose preach and martyrdom for Christ put the second stones on the Building of the Church which was based on the main base cornerstone Jesus Christ whom with his holy blood for the Salvation of mankind made the existence of the Ship of Salvation (as the holy fathers) call the Church posslble.

Feast-of-The-Assembly-of-the-Holy-Apostles-and-St-Peter-and-Paul

Below are the Church Troparions and Kontaktions (Praising songs in the Church sang in Holy Liturgy) on 29 of June that every year marks Feast of the Glorious Apostles who enlightened the Universe, I put the songs in Both English and in Cyrillic translated out of Old Bulgarian (Church Slavonic).

Here are the names of the 12 Apostles as we know them by Church Tradition

The 12 disciples of Lord Jesus Christ

1. Peter
2. James
3. John
4. Andrew
5. Bartholomew or Nathanael
6. James, the Lesser or Younger
7. Judas
8. Jude or Thaddeus
9. Matthew or Levi
10. Philip
11. Simon the Zealot
12 . Thomas

 

Troparion — Tone 4

O first-enthroned of the Apostles, / and teachers of the universe, / intercede with the Master of all / to grant peace to the world, / and to our souls great mercy.

Kontakion — Tone 2

O Lord, You have taken to Yourself the steadfast and divinely-inspired heralds, the leaders of Your disciples, / for the enjoyment of Your blessings for and their rest; / for You have accepted their labors and their deaths as above all burnt offerings, / for You alone know the hearts of men.

Kontakion — Tone 2

Today Christ the Rock glorifies with highest honor / the rock of Faith and leader of the Apostles, / together with Paul and the company of the Twelve, / whose memory we celebrate with eagerness of faith, / glorifying Him Who glorified them.

ТРОПАРЬ, ГЛАС 4-Й

Апостолов первопрестольницы и вселенныя учителие, Владыку всех молите мир вселенный даровати и душам нашым велию милость.

Первенствующие из апостолов и Вселенской Церкви учителя, Владыку всех молите мир миру даровать и душам нашим великую милость.

КОНДАК, ГЛАС 2-Й

Твердыя и боговещанныя проповедатели, верх апостолов твоих, Господи, приял еси, в наслаждение благих Твоих и покой: болезни бо онех и смерть приял еси, паче всякаго всеплодия, Едине сведый сердечная.

Непоколебимых и богогласных проповедников, высших из Апостолов Твоих, Господи, Ты принял в наслаждение благ Твоих и покой, ибо страдания их и смерть благоволил принять как жертву, выше всякой жертвы, Единый, ведающий сердца наши.

ВЕЛИЧАНИЕ

Величаем вас, апостоли Христовы Петре и Павле, весь мир ученьми своими просветившия и вся концы ко Христу приведшия.

Прославляем вас, апостолы Христовы Петр и Павел, весь мир своим учением просветивших и приведших ко Христу народы всей земли.

Let by the Prayers of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul and the Apostle James, John, Andrew, Bartholomew (Nathnael), James (the lesser or Younger), Judas, Jude (Thaddeus), Mathew (Levi), Philip, Simon Zealot and Thomas God have mercy on all Christians in our age and the ages to come till the Second Glorious Coming of Christ and in the Frightening Judgement day.

Why saint Apostle (James) Jacobs is called flesh brother to the Lord Jesus Christ / 23 October st. Jacobs feast in Bulgarian Orthodox Church

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012


1st ArchiBishop (Patriach) of Jerusalem, First Patriach of Jerusalem Orthodox Church, Saint Apostle James - The Lord's brother by flesh

Today in Bulgarian Orthodox Church. We celebrate the feast of Saint Apostle Jacobs (brother by flesh) as being known from Holy Gospels. I have many protestant friends and I know they literally understand the said about Saint Apostle Jacobs (James as usually used in English) and fall in the trap to think St. Ap. Jacobs was born by the Holy Theotokos (Virgin Mary). This is a very wrong understanding, which I myself have pondered in the early days when I believed in Christ.

What it is meant by “brother in Flesh” is therefore an ambigious milestone for all Protestants, who reject our Orthodox Christian belief that the Mother of God (The Holy Theotokos) gave birth to the Incarnated Logos (The only begotten Son of God Lord Jesus Christ without loosing her virginity !)
This is a great miracle of God and the more one thinks over it the more he gets astounished on the greatness of the Lord and the righteousness of the Orthodox Christian faith!

The actual reason why the Gospel talks about the Lord having saint Jacob as a brother in flesh is due to fact he was Joseph’s Son (a good note to make here is Joseph was actually a man in his old age already even physically incapable to have kids – again something protestant christian and the protestant tens of thousands of denominations often did not know or if heard reject it fully).

Joseph was instructed by God to take Mariam as wife for the only reason to not allow the most Holy Theotokos (Virgin mary – which we consider higher in veneration and Spiritual Rank than Angels) from being accused by Jewish. It was very uncommon for ladies to bring forth kids without being married for that time, probably thousand of times more shameful than now. Jewish considered killing by stoning ladies which give birth to kids born by ladies without husband.

It was God’s salvationary plan for us Humans to bore Christ from a Virgin and this is why The Holy Theotokos conceived without being married by the Holy Spirit, the Old Testament prophecies states this will happen among with multiple other fully fulfilled prophecies by Christ – (Check old testament Messianic prophecies fulfilled by Christ (Prophecies for Christ) here ) or here .

With this said we firmly believe in Orthodox Church, The Good Lord give Joseph the order to marry her in order to “save” her from shameful unrighteous jewish accusations..
Joseph himself obeying to God’s instructions to live with Mariam (The Holy Theotokos) was a widowed a man with Sons born by a Holy woman. One of Joseph sons was Saint Apostle James who martyred for Christ in 63 A.D.

The Mother of God (Holy Thetokos) and Joseph were man and Husband officially during, all their earthly living, however they never lived together as man in life and never had sleep together (in a sense of man and wife) but lived in holiness and prayer during their whole living.


The Holy Family Greek Orthodox Christian Icon - The Holy Theotokos with Joseph and the Lord Saviour Jesus Christ

The Holy Family – Greek Orthodox icon

Therefore it is incorrect and sinful thinking to Think Virgin Mary gave birth to others except the Messiah (Christ) Lord Jesus.

Because saint James lived his life as official part of the Holy Family, later in Gospels he was called the brother in Flesh along with his other brothers / other sons of Joseph. Due to God’s desire st. Apostle Jacob was later also choosen in assembly of Holy Apostles, which gathered together and choose st. Jacob to be the first Patriarch of the Jerusalem Church.

St. James Orthodox icon window to heaven Anna Edelman

An Orthodox Church patriarchy which exists even to this day kept by the Grace of the Holy Spirit.

In moment the Good Lord Jesus Christ revealed himself to me and blessed me with the gift of Faith about 8 years ago, I didn’t believed in him reading Orthodox Christian Literature, Holy Apostles writings, the Living of the Saints, or not even had a clear idea that there is difference between Christians). How I believed was, I read the Holy Bible and the Holy Gospels of pure interest. Actually I was in a severe desperation not finding a meaning in life and cause of that researched different major faiths around the world (I put here this details because I think maybe there are others around in same or similar situation and my testimony might strengthen their faith in Christ and his one Holy Apostolic Church – The Orthodox Church). In my quest for truth, I decided to read the Holy Bible with a mindset that Probably it contains some Good Wisdom not believing back in that time it is 100% true). My reasoning to read holy Bible was due to fact Holy Bible is today one of the oldest circulating easy accessible books.

Now having a bit of personal story, I can continue with why Saint Apostle James is called flesh brother to the Lord Jesus Christ; I hope my personal shortly writen story on how I ended up believing in truthfulness of Orthodox Church will be useful for Protestant Christians seeking true faith and will help them find the true faith Christ has given us in the realm of our One Holy Apostolic Church nowdays known as the Orthodox Church

In Holy Gospels it is said Saint Apostle James is brother in flesh to the the Lord Jesus Christ. Earlier when I started being in deep interested to Christian faith and found Orthodox Christian faith is the only true faith in Christ currently present, in small steps I started realizing the teachings of Orthodox Church and Orthodox Saints are the only 100% trustable sources of interpretation which correctly explain the Holy Bible, Gospels and thereon inside the Orthodox Church it is only place where true Christian can find true spirituality and more in depth information on the living of the Lord Jesus Christ; his death on the Cross for our Salvation, His Glorious Resurrection triumphing over deapth, living of the saints, the desert fathers livings and the innumerous number of events and miracles which happened before the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, after his Resurrection (from the Death) and all events related to Christianity and Church for passed 2000 years of Church existence.

According to our Church tradition Saint Apostle Jacob believed in his “brother in flesh” to be the Christ after listening to his words of life after the Lord Jesus’s first public preach.

After The Lord’s Resurrection, as st. Apostle Paul mentions the Lord show himself with his resurrected victorious body over death in front of 500 people and st. Apostle Jacob as well.

The Church tradition continues that saint Apostle Jacobs lived and spend all his life before his martyrdom in Jerusalem along with the rest of The Lord Jesus desciples, working for building, strengthening and extending the Church and faith in the Resurrected Savior.

Because of his great holiness he was well known in Jerusalem during his living by both the Church members and the rest of Jews. Publicly they address him as “Jacobs (James – The Just”.

Because of different translation in different languages there is some unambiguality between the old times (Old Testament) Patriach saint Jacobs and some of the new testamential saints also called Jacobs, hence in English st. Jacobs is often called James.


Saint Apostle Jacob the Just the first Hierarch of Jerusalem Antiochian Church orthodox icon


It was also st. Apostle Jacob who first has give the final decision concerning the big “argueing” division between people who claimed circumcision is necessery for salvation and the Church members who said that it is not. The Jewish people claimed it is necessery for everyone to be well educated in old testamential law and follow the circumcision and all jewish laws and tradition in order to obtain salvation. In Jerusalem on the assembly st. Barnaba and st. Paul along with st. Jacob and all the Church hierarchs decided led by the Holy Spirit in truth that gentiles will not be required to circumcise and follow all jewish traditions. They decided together that every Church member receives his salvation by the Grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Apostle assembly (council) occured in year 51 A.D. This assembly was an example on how huge Church discussions should be decided for future and set the building stone of the next Church Ecummenical Councils in which major decisions concerning our faith was taken.
The Jewish people who was in hatred for Jesus (rejecting him as Christ = Messiah (being the Messiah the Saviour of Israel) and the only one begotten Son of God) killed Holy Apostle Jacob by , first threw him from the summit of the Temple in Jerusalem and (being unable to kill him by throwing him down), then killed him with stones (stoned him). According to Eusibeus who retold what Hegesippus (earlier source history writer writen), the jewish broke the Holy Apostle skull with a fuller’s club trying to completely destroy his holy relics. But obviously as Psalm reads, they couldn’t – As “The memory of the righteous continues live on forver”. –

Psalm 112:6 Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever.

While I never before in depth read about Saint Apostle James – (often called THE JUST) for his holy living, whilst reading in in OrthodoxWiki about him, I found also the Church Hymns as translated in English. It is strikingly beautiful to hear and pray with them in this times of decaying less and less faith. Also I was amazed to read about such unachiavable in our generation righteousness in which St. Ap. James lived in; His glorious martyrdom is also one of the most striking ones I ever red ….

The Holy Apostle gave up the spirit after a short prayer, before the Jewish stoned him. He was aged 66 when he received his martyrdom for Christ.

St. James the Just – Troparion – (Tone 4)

As the Lord’s disciple you received the Gospel, O righteous James;
As a martyr you have unfailing courage;
As God’s brother, you have boldness;
As a hierarch, you have the power to intercede.
Pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved.

saint Apostle Jacob The Just and saint Dinisius from Areopagita / Teophan Kritski, Church Wall painting in Greece
Church Wall Painting painted by st. Teophanus from Crit and Smeon (year 1546) Church Saint Nikolas (Monastery StavroNikita Holy Mount Athos)

Kontakion in veneration of Saint James the first Patriach of Jerusalem – (Tone 4)

When God the Word, the Only-begotten of the Father,
Came to live among us in these last days,
He declared you, venerable James, to be the first shepherd and teacher of Jerusalem
And a faithful steward of the spiritual Mysteries. Therefore, we all honor you, O Apostle.

It is interesting fact actually the most ancient Holy Liturgy, text ever written is writen by Saint Apostle James (The Brother of God) himself. This year Praise be to God, a Jacobine Holy Liturgy, will be served in Vidin with blessing of Vidin’s Metropolitan – I read this news in Dveri.BG , an information site discussing Bulgarian Church and related news. Saint Jacob’s Holy Liturgy is served only once per year on his Church feast day. If My memory is not mistaken saint Jacob’s Holy Liturgy is served also on Our Lord Jesus’s Resurrection Day every (Easter), right before the Holy Fire descends from Heaven and lights up the candle of Jerusalem Patriarch

Let by the Holy Prayers of st. Apostle Jacobs (a brother in flesh to the Lord), God have merce on me the sinner and all Christians.

Thomas Sunday (Doubting Thomas) the end of the bright Paschal Week

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

St Apostle Thomas touching the wounds of our saviour Christ

Today in the Orthodox Church, we commemorate the great miracle of our saviour Christ appearing to st. Apostle Thomas, who failed to believe to the rest of the holy apostles that they have seen our saviour alive.

Thomas wanted said that he won’t belief if he doesn’t touch and see the incorruptable risen body of our saviour Jesus.

Our Lord by his great mercy has appeared once again to the pupils dinnering with them.
Thomas was with the teachers and the door was locked (as the fear of persecution for Christ’s testimonial was among the aposltes).
Suddenly our Saviour entered the room where all the pupils were gathered through the locked door (a Glorious miracle inconceivable for our minds).

As the Lord knew about Thomas weak belief and his disbelief in his prophecised Resurrection in the third day, when Christ entered he has addressed Thomas and told him to come forth and see and touch his wounds and see that a spirit has no bones and flesh, (obviously Thomas erroneously thought that the resurrection from the death would be in spirit and no physical body will be present (this kind of belief today is also wide-spread inside many heretical christian groups)).
The Lord continued on and told Thomas, “Thomas you have seen and believed, now blessed is those who haven’t seen me and believed”!

Here is part of the daily troparion:

Touch my rib with a hand, Thomas, speaks Christ, and come and touch (feel) the scars from the nails.
With faith do test it, and be a believer and not a non-believer. Thomas has touched with a finger to the Master and loudly shouted:
"You are my Lord and my God, most merciful Glory to you!"

This Sunday is also the day marking the end of the bright week of the Resurrection.
Let we all the Orthodox Christians be a believers as Thomas and be blessed in accordance to our saviour’s word, as we haven’t seen the Lord’s Risen glorified body as Thomas and the rest of the holy apostles did.