What is the relationship between the role of today’s Patriarchs and the Apostles?
The Apostles are men Christ sent to bring the gospel message, the good news of Christ, to other people. They brought the grace of God with them and worked various miracles. These apostles made disciples (followers of Christ) of many people. Those disciples went on to share with others and make more disciples, and so on. The line of disciples has continued for over two thousand years. As a disciple of Christ, as a Christian, we all have varying callings. These callings are things such as deacon, priest, monastic, parent, abess, abbot, bishop, metropolitan, and so on. An orthodox Christian begins as an individual who is baptized and chrismated within the church and a follower of Christ. Someone in the patriarch is an individual who began as an orthodox Christian, became a deacon, then a priest, and then entered into the patriarch by the calling of God. Someone in the patriarch is called by God to lead His sheep in a particular role, just as the Apostles were called to lead His sheep in a particular role.