Saints Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon and Parmenas, Apostles of the Seventy were among the first deacons in the Church of Christ.
In the Acts of the Holy Apostles (6:1-6) it is said that the twelve Apostles chose seven men: Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicholas, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, and appointed them to serve as deacons.
They are commemorated together on July 28, although they died at various times and in various places.
At first, Saint Prochorus accompanied the holy Apostle Peter, who made him bishop in the city of Nicomedia. After the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, Prochorus was a companion and coworker of the holy Apostle John the Theologian and was banished with him to the island of Patmos. There he wrote down the Book of Revelation concerning the final fate of the world. Upon returning to Nicomedia, Saint Prochorus converted pagans to Christ in the city of Antioch, where he suffered martyrdom.
Although Saint Nicanor suffered on the same day that the holy Protomartyr Stephen (December 27) and many other Christians were killed by stoning, he is also commemorated on December 28.
Saint Timon was later appointed by the Apostles as bishop of the city of Bostra in Arabia and suffered from the Jews and pagans for preaching the Gospel. He was thrown into a furnace, but by the power of God he came out of it unharmed. The tradition of the Roman Church says that Saint Timon died by crucifixion. Saint Timon is also commemorated on December 30.
Saint Parmenas zealously preached Christ in Macedonia. He died after being afflicted with an illness. Some say that Saint Parmenas suffered martyrdom under Trajan (98-117) in the final year of his reign.
These Apostles of the Seventy are mentioned in Acts 6:5. Saint Prochoros became Bishop of Nicomedia and reposed in peace. Saint Nicanor was stoned to death in Jerusalem. Saint Timon became Bishop of Bostra in Arabia and ended his life in martyrdom by fire at the hands of the pagans. Saint Parmenas died in peace in Jerusalem.
All four were numbered among the Seven Deacons and the Seventy Apostles. The remaining deacons were Stephen, Philip and Nicholas. Stephen, the first martyr, is commemorated separately on December 27, and Philip on October 11. Because of his heresy, Nicholas did not enter into the ranks of the saints. The first four do not have separate days of commemoration, but are all commemorated on this day, July 28. Saint Prochorus was consecrated by the Apostle Peter as bishop of Nicomedia. For a time he was in the service of St. John the Evangelist and, on the Island of Patmos, wrote down the Book of Revelation, which he heard from the mouth of St. John. After that, he returned to Nicomedia, where he exerted much effort and labor to convert the people to the Faith. He died a martyr’s death in Antioch, where he was slain by unbelievers. Saint Nicanor suffered in Jerusalem the same day as St. Stephen the Archdeacon and, soon after him, two thousand other Christians were slain by the wicked Jews. Saint Timon was a bishop in Arabia, and suffered on the cross for Christ. Saint Parmenas died before the eyes of the apostles, and was mourned and buried by them.
Apolytikion of Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon & Parmenas of the 70
O Holy Apostles, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.
Kontakion of Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon & Parmenas of the 70
By faith ye were shown forth as the Word’s hallowed deacons, His ven’rable eye-witnesses, and chosen vessels, Nicanor and Prochoros, glorious Timon and Parmenas; hence we celebrate today your sacred memorial, and with joy of heart, we keep the feast now in gladness, whereon we all call you blessed.
Source: oca.org / goarch.org/ westserbdio.org