Posted by: anna | March 28, 2011

St Aristobulus of the Seventy

Today (15 March) we return to the early British saints!!! and commemorate Hieromartyr Aristobulus of the Seventy, bishop of Britain (1st C).

Once again emrys at celt-saints has done an admirable job gathering sources into a useful  and digestible summary:

Saint Aristobulus is one of the 72 disciples commissioned by our Lord Jesus to preach the coming of the Kingdom. Saint Paul mentions him in Romans 16:11. He has been identified with Zebedee, the father of the “sons of Thunder,” Saints James and John. He is said to be St. Peter’s father-in-law, and to have been followed to Britain by his brother Barnabas. Like the others, Barnabas returned, but Aristobulus is said to have met a martyr’s death at the age of 99 in the mountainous heart of Wales.(Benedictines).

‘Ireland & the Celtic Church’ by G.T.Stokes Page 6 which says:- Aristobulus of Romans XVI said by the Greek Menaea to have been ordained Bishop for the Britons by St.Paul.

From Chapt 10 of Fr.Lionel Smithett-Lewis’s Book entitled “St.Joseph of Arimathea at Glastonbury.” ‘The Greek Menology for March 15 says: Arsitobulus was one of the 70 Apostles and a follower of St.Paul. He was chosen by St.Paul to be a Missionary Bishop for Britain.’

St.Dorotheus Bp.of Tyre AD303 says that ‘Aristobulus who Paul saluted, writing to the Romans, was Bishop of Britain. ‘(Synopsis de Apostol,Synops.23 “Aristobulus”).

Hippolytus makes reference to Aristobulus as being Bishop of the Britons.

St.Ado Abp. of Vienne (AD800-874) in the Adonis Martyrologia for March 17 says: “Natal Day of Aristobulus Bp.of Britain.” Said to be brother of Barnabas and father-in-law of St.Peter.

Achau Saint Prydain (Genealogies of the Saints of Britain): “There came with Bran the Blessed from Rome to Britain — Arwystli Hen (Aristobulus the Aged), Ilid Cyndaf man of Israel (Joseph of Arimathea) and Mawan
(Josephes son of Joseph).”

Troparion of the Apostles tone 5

Let us acclaim Stachys,/ Apelles, Amplias, Urban, Narcissus and Aristobulus/ as a six-stringed harp of the Spirit/ that sings of God’s marvellous gifts to mankind./ As divine apostles they pray for us.


We are thinking about icons, frescoes and other ways of beautifying our new church. We would like to include more western saints, preferably mixed together with saints of Russia and other – how shall I put it? more consistently? – Orthodox lands. Aristobulus sounds like a good candidate to me.

Holy Father Aristobulus, pray to God for us.

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