Lives of Saints - Saints Silas, Silvanos, Apainetos and Crescens of the Seventy Christianity - Books
“I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.                “You shall have no other gods before me.                “You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: you shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me, and showing loving kindness to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.                “You shall not take the name of Yahweh your God in vain, for Yahweh will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.                “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. You shall labor six days, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Yahweh your God. You shall not do any work in it, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your livestock, nor your stranger who is within your gates; for in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day, and made it holy.                “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which Yahweh your God gives you.                “You shall not murder.                “You shall not commit adultery.                “You shall not steal.                “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.                “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
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Saints Silas, Silvanos, Apainetos and Crescens of the Seventy

The first of the four commemorated on August 12 is Silas, whose close companionship with the mighty St. Paul was enough to place him among the saints and who, as one of the Seventy devoted apostles of the Messiah, contributed mightily to the cause of Christianity, the more so because he managed to elude the executioner and to live a full life, each day of which was pledged to the missionary work of the Saviour. St. Luke, the Glorious Physician and author of the Book of Acts of the New Testament speaks in chapter fifteen of 'Judas and Silas being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed.'

Serving in Antioch with Barnabas and Paul, Silas was chosen by the latter to project their mission into Syria and Cicilia, as recorded in Acts 15.40 wherein it says 'And Paul chose Silas and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the Grace of God. And he went through Syria and Cicilia confirming the churches.' These regions were hostile to the New Faith of Jesus Christ but in spite of the abuse and indignities heaped upon the apostles, the salvation of mankind was brought to crowds who could see the light of Christianity through the miasma of their irreligious way of life. Before he departed for Rome, Paul installed Silas as bishop of Corinth where he served honourably every day of his long life.

Another of the Seventy favoured of God was Silvanos who is mentioned in the New Testament in 1 Peter 5.12 which reads "By Silvanos, a faithful brother unto you, as 1 suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand." The great St. Peter uses the word "briefly" to acknowledge that much more can be said of the Apostle Silvanos, who as the bishop of Thessaloniki encountered more than his share of resistance to the worship of a carpenter from distant Nazareth by a Greek colony as proud of their idolatry as their art and literature. Bishop Silvanos did not find an easily swayed audience in his mission, but he did find audiences with an intelligence to which he appealed with huge success. His was another long service to Christ in a complete triumph of Greek Christian conversion which placed the ancient myths in their proper place, not as truth but as fancy that have since served to amuse readers of every civilised language.

Another gallant soldier lost in the ranks of the Apostolic Seventy was Apainetos whose unfamiliar name is inscribed for eternity in the New Testament when St. Paul states in Romans 16.5, "Salute my well beloved Apainetos, who is the first fruit of Achaia unto Christ." Chosen by the Apostles to serve as bishop of Carthage in Africa, Apainetos met with a Carthaginian crowd which was as hostile as any of the proud Greeks. But with the oratorical skill born of truth, he had remarkable success in the conversion to Christianity of those whose priorities lay elsewhere. The Christian religion became the pre-eminent influence in an ancient city of Africa which was much more familiar with the Hannibals that predated the Messiah by centuries.

The last of the sacred Seventy commemorated on this day, and certainly not the least, was Crescens, whose apostolic merit is to be found in the magnificent St. Paul's letter to Timothy in which he writes in 2 Timothy 4.10 the instruction 'Do thy diligence to come shortly to me ... and Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.' Following his mission to Galatia, Crescens was ordained bishop of Chalcedon, a city in which he firmly planted Christianity as a faith which found greater expression than in most other areas for centuries to come.


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