« « Previous Newsletter - The World That Then Was!

Next Newsletter - Closing Out Church History in the First Century!
[Part 2]
» »

Closing Out Church History in the First Century!
[Part 1]

By David J. Smith
July 20, 2013

Joseph of Arimathea went to Gaul [modern France] in 60 A.D. and returned to Britain with another group of saints to help him. One person was mentioned specifically – Simon Zelotes, one of the original twelve disciples (Bishop Ussher, Magna Tabula Glastoniae). This was the second journey to Britain for Simon Zelotes and his last. The Bible calls him the Cananite, because he was from Cana.

Simon arrived in Britain during the first year of the Boadicean war in 60 A.D. Simon was usually bold and fearless, as his sir name Zelotes indicates – meaning zealous. The Roman edict of earlier that declared Christianity illegal was still of force among the Roman armies. In spite of the seething turmoil engulfing Britain during the Boadicean war, Simon Zelotes openly defied the barbaric Edict of Paulinus to destroy any and everything Christain. He decided to conduct his evangelizing campaign in the eastern part of the Island. This section of the Island was more sparsely populated, and therefore, more heavily populated with the Roman army.

In this dangerous territory, Simon was definitely on his own without protection of the Silurian kings. His fiery sermons brought him immediately to the attention of Catus Decianus, but not before Simon had planted some seeds of truth. His evangelizing mission was short-lived. He was arrested under the orders of Catus Decianus. As usual, his trial was a mockery. He was condemned to death and was crucified by the Romans at Caistor, Lincolnshire, and buried there on May 10, 61 A.D.

Dorotheus, Bishop of Tyre, 300 A.D. wrote: “Simon Zelotes traversed all Mauretania, and the region of the African, preaching Christ. He was at last crucified, slain and buried IN Britain(Dorotheus, Bishop of Tyre, Synopsis de Apostol).

Simon Zelotes was the second Christian martyr in Britain. Aristobulus, brother of Barnabas and father-in-law of Peter, was the first to be martyred in Britain. Aristobulus was buried a few years earlier at what is now St. Albans (George F. Jowett, The Drama of the Lost Disciples, Covenant Publishing Co. LTD., London, England, p. 159).

Lazarus was the first man sent back to Gaul by Joseph of Arimathea. Before he left, he wrote an outline for his rules of Christian living. In Celtic Manuscripts, they are known as The Triads of Lazarus. The word Triad is Celtic for Law. The Triads of Lazarus are still preserved in the ancient Celtic records of Britain (Ibid, p. 163). He left Britain and went directly to Marseilles, Gaul [modern France].

Roger of Hovedon, in writing about Marseilles, remarked: “Marseilles is an Episcopal city under the domination of the King of Aragon. Here are the ,em>relics of St. Lazarus, the brother of St. Mary Magdalene and Martha, who held the Bishopric for seven years” (Ibid, p. 163).

The ancient church records at Lyons confirms these same facts: “Lazarus returned to Gaul from Britain to Marseilles, taking with him Mary Magdalene and Martha. He was the first appointed Bishop. He died there seven years later” (IBID, p. 164). At Marseilles, Lyons, Aix, St. Maximin, La Sainte Baume and other places, there still remain numerous monuments, liturgies, relics and traditions to his memory.

Other Saints in “His” Service
Each of the saints that went to Gaul [France] with Lazarus, male or female, had a specially appointed place in Gaul to which they were to go and found churches. Martha went to Arles with her faithful handmaid, Marcella. Trophimus eventually replaced Martha at Arles. He became its first Bishop.

Martha and Marcella moved to Tarascon where they settled and spent the remainder of their lives preaching, teaching and administering to those called. They both died a natural death. The records state that “Marcella was with Martha at her death.” A few years later Marcella died.

Early records show Maximin, Trophimus and Parmena leaving Britain for Gaul – joining up with those previously mentioned. Maximin joined Mary Magdalene at Axis, where both spent their last years. Both died a natural death. [To be continued]

Newsletter Archives