About the Twelve Holy Apostles:
During his earthly ministry, Christ appointed twelve apostles commissioned to cultivate and foster the Church's growth in the one true Orthodox faith. As the Church grew and flourished in the early centuries, more apostles were sent to preach the Gospel.
On June 30th, the Orthodox Church celebrates the Synaxis of the Twelve Holy Apostles, our Feast Day. At Holy Apostles, we gather together to honor those Apostles, who, like us, were given gifts by the Lord and who worked together to live their faith and share their blessings. The Holy Apostles each offered their unique God-given gifts and talents to the Lord, and He worked powerfully through them. But it is not these qualities that made them saints—it was their continual devotion to God and steadfast endurance that helped them become saints. Let us follow their example in allowing God to work in our lives, offering Him our gifts and talents, and laboring for the Lord.
Please click on their names to be taken to their hagiographies.
- St. Andrew—the First-Called Apostle, brother of Peter. We celebrate his feast day on November 30th.
- St. Peter—referred to as "Simon Peter" and is celebrated on June 16th & June 29th.
- St. James—the son of Zebedee and the brother of St. John the Theologian, also called "the Great." We celebrate his feast day on April 30th.
- St. John the Theologian— was the brother of James and reposed miraculously. We honor and celebrate him on May 8th and September 26th.
- St. Philip—We celebrate him on November 14th.
- St. Bartholomew (Nathaniel)—also referred to as Nathaniel, We honor him on June 11th and August 25th.
- St. Thomas—We celebrate him on October 6th.
- St. Matthew—Also referred to as Levi, was the brother of James. We celebrate him on November 16th.
- St. James (Son of Alphaeus)—We celebrate him on October 9th.
- St. Jude—Also referred to as "Thaddeus," was the brother of James. He is celebrated on June 19th.
- St. Simon the Zealot—Is referred to as "the Canaanite.' We celebrate him on May 10th.
- St. Matthias—Was the Apostle who took Judas' place. We celebrate him on August 9th.
The Orthodox Church continues the living tradition of venerating the Holy Relics of saints—the bones, incorrupt and sanctified bodies, or material items that have come into contact with the sanctified body of a saint. This practice of keeping the saints' relics has its origins in the early Christian Church, and the sanctity of objects is even referenced in the Old Testament when God reveals to Moses how varying objects—those that are "most holy"—sanctify the very things with which they come into contact. Like the saints themselves, relics are glorified and thus become vessels of sanctity. Through God's grace, Holy Apostles has been blessed with the possession of three sets of Holy Relics that bring us great spiritual joy:
- The relics of St. Damianos
- The slipper of Gerasimus of Kefalonia
- The relics of St. Peter
- A reliquary that contains remains from all 12 Holy Apostles
Saints, Feasts, and Readings for 06/01/2023