Ss. Junia and Andronicus of the Seventy were relatives of the holy Apostle Paul. They traveled extensively and preached the Gospel to pagans. St. Paul mentions them in his Epistle to the Romans: “Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and fellow prisoners, who are of note among the Apostles, who also were in Christ, before me” (Romans 16:7).
St. Andronicus was made Bishop of Pannonia, but his preaching also took him and St. Junia to other lands, far from the boundaries of their diocese. Through the efforts of Sts. Andronicus and Junia, the Church of Christ was strengthened with pagans being converted to Christianity. Many of the pagan temples were closed, and in their place Christian churches were built. The service in honor of these saints states that they suffered martyrdom for Christ.
In the fifth century, during the reigns of Emperors Arcadius and Honorius, these saints’ holy relics were uncovered on the outskirts of Constantinople together with the relics of other martyrs at the Gate of Eugenius.
It was revealed to the pious cleric, Nicholas Kalligraphos, that among the relics of these martyrs were the relics of the holy Apostle Andronicus. Afterwards, a magnificent church was built on this spot.
By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org )