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quod pro nobis traditum est

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Successors of the faith

One intriguing witness to the Christian faith and Christianity is its survival and continuation, especially in the early stages. When Jesus was crucified, there standing by the cross were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary, the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. (John 19)

History records that James, the "brother of the Lord," had been chosen as the episcopal head of the Church of Jerusalem by the Apostles. Yet his tenure ended in martyrdom. Eusebius writes that after the martyrdom of James the apostles and disciples of the Lord came together with those related to the Lord in order to choose a successor to James. They chose Symeon, son of Clopas "to be worthy of the episcopal throne of that parish. He was, as they say, a cousin of the Saviour." (Bk. 3, Ch. 11)

This Symeon then became the Second Bishop of Jerusalem (62-107) and he too was martyred ("crucified"), under Trajan. He is said to have been 120 years old. In the West, he is remembered this Saturday.