The holy apostles Erastus, Sosipater, Olympas, Rodion, Quartus, and Tertius were disciples of St. Paul. They all lived during the first century. The Apostle to the Gentiles speaks of them in the Epistle to the Romans, “And Erastus, the city treasurer, greets you, and Quartus, a brother” (Rom 16:23). St. Sosipater, a native of Achaia, was Bishop of Iconium, where he also died. St. Paul mentions him in Romans 16:21. St. Olympas was mentioned by the holy apostle Paul (Rom 16:15). He was also a companion of the Apostle Peter. St. Rodion (Herodion), was a kinsman of the Apostle Paul (Rom 16:11), and left the bishop’s throne at Patras to go to Rome with apostle Peter. Saints Rodion and Olympas were beheaded on the very day and hour when St. Peter was crucified. St. Quartus endured much suffering for his piety and converted many pagans to Christ, dying peacefully as a bishop in the city of Beirut. St. Tertius is mentioned in the Epistle to the Romans, “I, Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord” (Rom 16:22). St. Tertius, to whom St. Paul dictated the Epistle to the Romans, was the second Bishop of Iconium, where he also died.
O holy apostles, intercede with the merciful God that he may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.
You enlightened your mind with light divine. You destroyed deceptive arguments with true wisdom, and having fished for all the Gentiles, O glorious apostles, you brought them to the Master, teaching them to glorify the Divine Trinity.
1 Thessalonians 2: 9-14
Brothers and sisters, you must recall our efforts and our toil: how we worked day and night all the time we preached God’s good tidings to you in order not to impose on you in any way. You are witnesses, as is God himself, of how upright, just, and irreproachable our conduct was toward you who are believers. You likewise know how we exhorted everyone of you, as a father does his children — how we encouraged and pleased with you to make your lives worthy of the God who calls you to his kingship and glory. That is why we thank God constantly that in receiving his message from us you took it, not as the word of men, but as it truly is, the word of God at work within you who believe. Brethren, you have been made like the churches of God in Judea which are in Christ Jesus.
Luke 13: 1-9
At that time some people were present who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus said in reply: “Do you think that these Galileans were the greatest sinners in Galilee just because they suffered this? By no means! But I tell you, you will all come to the same end unless you reform. Or take those eighteen who were killed by a falling tower in Siloam. Do you think they were more guilty than anyone else who lived in Jerusalem? Certainly not! But I tell you, you will all come to the same end unless you reform.” Jesus spoke this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he came out looking for fruit in it but did not find any. He said to the vinedresser, ‘Look here! For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree and found none. Cut it down. Why should it clutter up the ground?’ In answer, the vinedresser said, ‘Sir, leave it another year, while I hoe around it and manure it; then perhaps it will bear fruit. If not, it shall be cut down.’”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Wednesday, November 9 –