St. Apphia, the Martyr of the Seventy


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Commemorated on February 19

Sts. Archippus, Philemon and Apphia, Apostles of the Seventy, were students and companions of the holy Apostle Paul. In the Epistle to Philemon, the Apostle Paul names St. Archippus as his companion, and mentions him again in the Epistle to the Colossians (Col. 4:17).

St. Archippus was the bishop of the city of Colossae in Phrygia. St. Philemon was an eminent citizen of this city, and the Christians gathered in his home to celebrate church services. He was also made a bishop by St. Paul, and he went about the cities of Phrygia, preaching the Gospel. Later on, he became archpastor of the city of Gaza. St. Apphia, his wife, took the sick and vagrants into her home, zealously attending to them. She was her husband’s co-worker in proclaiming the Word of God.

During the persecution against Christians under Emperor Nero (54-68), the holy Apostles Archippus and Philemon and Apphia were brought to trial for confessing their faith in Christ. St. Archippus was brutally slashed with knives. After torture, they buried Sts. Philemon and Apphia up to the waist in the ground, and stoned them until they died.

Troparion (Tone 4) –

O holy apostle Apphia,

Intercede with our merciful God

That He may grant to our souls

The forgiveness of our sins.

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)