Aristobulus of Britannia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Aristobulus of Britannia (Full title, in Greek: Aghios Apostolos Aristovoulos, Martyras, kai Protos Episkopos Vretannias; Welsh: Arwystli Hen Episcob Cyntaf Prydain; Latin: Sanctus Aristobulus Senex, Apostolus, Martyr, Episcopus Primus Britanniae; English: Saint Aristibule the Old, Apostle, Martyr, and First Bishop of Britain. Also, Aristobulus, Apostle to Britain) is a saint of Roman Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity, named by Hippolytus of Rome as one of the Seventy Disciples, and the first bishop in Roman Britain.[1]


Hippolytus of Rome lists "Aristobulus, bishop of Britain" among the seventy disciples.[1]

Aristobulus may be mentioned in the New Testament in the Epistle to the Romans (Romans 16:10: "...Salute them which are of Aristobulus' household") though this may mean Aristobulus IV.[2] [3]


Aristobulus preached and died in Roman Britain.[4][2] Where orthodox tradition says he "died in peace",[5] Catholic tradition says he was martyred.[2]

Orthodox tradition say he was the brother of the Apostle Barnabas, of Jewish Cypriot origin,[4] and like Barnabas accompanied Saint Paul on his journeys.[4] He was one of the assistants of Saint Andrew,[6] along with Urban of Macedonia, Stachys, Ampliatus, Apelles of Heraklion and Narcissus of Athens. On his missionary journey to Britain, he stopped to preach to the Celtiberians of northern Hispania.[citation needed]

Catholic tradition identifies Aristobulus with Zebedee, father of James and John.[2]

Dubious later conjectures identify Aristobulus with one of the medieval Welsh saints Arwystl: Arwystl the Aged, an early missionary, or Arwstyl ap Cunedda, after whom Arwystli is named.[7]


In the Eastern Orthodox Church liturgical calendar, Aristobulus' personal feast day is 15 March.[4] He is also one of the saints commemorated on 4 January (feast of the Seventy Disciples)[8] and on 31 October (feast of the assistants of Saint Andrew).[5]

In the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar, his feast is 15 March.[2]


  1. ^ a b Pseudo-Hippolytus. "CHURCH FATHERS: On the Apostles and Disciples". New Advent. Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "St. Aristobulus". Saints & Angels. Catholic Online. Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  3. ^ Carrington, Philip (2011-08-11). The Early Christian Church: Volume 1, The First Christian Church. Cambridge University Press. p. 149. ISBN 9780521166416. Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Apostle Aristobulus of the Seventy the Bishop of Britain". Calendar of Saints. Orthodox Church in America. Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Apostle Aristobulus of the Seventy". Calendar of Saints. Orthodox Church in America. Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "Saint Aristobulus, Apostle of Britain", Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries
  7. ^ Baring-Gould, S.; Fisher, John (2005-06-30). The Lives of the British Saints: The Saints of Wales, Cornwall and Irish Saints. Kessinger Publishing. p. 175. ISBN 9780766186798. Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  8. ^ "Apostle Aristobulus of the Seventy". Calendar of Saints. Orthodox Church in America. Retrieved 15 July 2012.