Today is the feast day of the 12 Apostles. We officially call today the Synaxis of the 12 Apostles –the word synaxis meaning the gathering of the 12. It comes the day after the solemn feast of the pivotal saints, Peter and Paul. This is a general, a collective feast day for the 12, and we honor each of the 12 Apostles on separate dates during the year. As a day prayer, this feast is reported to be of ancient provenance.
Today Christ the Rock glorifies with highest honor Peter, 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, giving glory to the One Who gave glory to them.
The above picture is the tomb of the 12 Apostles located at the Basilica of the 12 Apostles in Rome containing the relics of the Lord’s 12 closest collaborators. The word ‘apostle’ means one who is sent. These 12 men were first called, then SENT, by the Lord to preach the Good News (the Gospel) and to administer sacraments (the mysteries of our salvation).
Do you know the 12 Apostles? Where did the preach the Gospel?
For lists of the Apostles’ names, see: Mt.10:2, Mark 3:14, Luke 6:12, and Acts 1:13, 26.
Apostle Peter is known as the Prince of the Apostles, commemorated on June 29, and the first bishop of Antioch having preached there, in Jerusalem and Judea.
Apostle Andrew the First-called is liturgically commemorated on November 30. The brother of Saint Peter. He preached in Georgia, Greece, Turkey, and Macedonia and is said to have stopped in Ukraine, too.
Apostle James the Greater is commemorated on April 30. He and his brother John are the sons of Zebedee, and were called “sons of Thunder” (Mark 3: 17). Preached in Iberia (present day Spain) and Judea.
Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian is commemorated on September 26 and May 8. He and his brother James are the sons of Zebedee, and were called “sons of Thunder” (Mark 3:17). He is known as a virgin and beloved friend of Jesus and was known to have preached in Jerusalem, Asia Minor, Rome, Greece, and Turkey.
Apostle Philip is commemorated on November 14. He preached in Jerusalem, Antioch, and Judea and brought the Gospel to Greece, Syria, and Turkey.
Apostle Bartholomew is commemorated on June 11 and August 25. He preached in Armenia, India, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey.
Apostle Thomas is commemorated on October 6,ee and on the Sunday after Holy and Great Pascha. He preached in Iraq, Iran, India, and China.
Apostle and Evangelist Matthew is commemorated on November 16. He preached in Judea, Ethiopia, Iran, Macedonia, and Syria.
Apostle James the Lesser, the son of Alphaeus, is commemorated on October 9. He preached in Damascus.
Apostle Jude is commemorated on June 19. He is also known as Thaddeus (but ought not be confused with Saint Thaddeus of the Seventy, who is commemorated on August 21). He preached in Armenia, Iran, Judea, Persia, Samaria, Syria, and Libya.
Apostle Simon the Zealot is commemorated on May 10. He is known to have preached in North Africa, the Middle East, and Egypt.
Apostle Matthias is commemorated on August 9. He preached in Judea and Ethiopia.
Apostle Judas, who betrayed the Lord.