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5. The continuation of Paul’s list of the saints known to him in the church of Rome
(Romans 16:10-16)
10Greet Apelles, approved in Christ. Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus.11Greet Herodion, my countryman. Greet those who are of the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord.12Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, who have labored in the Lord. Greet the beloved Persis, who labored much in the Lord.13Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.14Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren who are with them.15Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.16Greet one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ greet you.

Paul informed the church in Rome of the names of its members known to him, who knew his teaching and his experiences. He confirmed to the church leaders, through this list, that he was not a stranger in Rome, but his working messengers in the church of Rome were known and acceptable.
Apelles bore the name of a very famous Greek painter. He was an experienced member in the church of Rome, who continued faithful to Christ in spite of sufferings and struggles. The brothers of the household of Aristobulus were probably freed slaves, unknown personally, but Paul called them brothers because, through their faith in Christ, the Son of God, the almighty had adopted and renewed them.
Herodion was a Christian of Jewish origin, who attempted to keep the Law of Moses, and at the same time follow Christ. He was a relative of Paul according to his tribe.
As for the household of Narcissus, Paul did not know them by names, but they became faithful Christians, a property of the Lord Jesus, and they confessed their spiritual experiences. Tryphena and Tryphosa were two sisters known as zealous servants of the Lord. Persis was the third servant of the Lord, whom Paul called beloved according to the spiritual custom, because she did not only believe, but she lived up to what she had believed in, and labored for Jesus.
Paul bestowed on Rufus the unique title, “chosen in the Lord”, which indicates that he was the son of Simon of Cyrene, who bore the cross of Jesus (Mark 15:21). The wife of Simon; i.e. the mother of Rufus, probably served Paul in the Middle East, because Paul testifies that this good woman had been as a mother to him, in caring for him, and comforting him.
Paul sent greetings to two parties of believers, and mentioned each of them by name, because he was concerned that his knowledge of them be known in the church. Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brothers who were with them, were the first party whom he calls brothers in the Lord Jesus. The second party was: Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who were with them; they were the members of the household church circle. The aforementioned lived under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the fruits of the Holy Spirit appeared in them so that he called them saints. They experienced the Crucified who was raised from the dead, as their Lord and Savior, and received the gift of the Holy Spirit and his eternal power.
Paul closes the list of the saints in Rome, asking them to greet one another with a holy kiss, as a symbol of their holy, spiritual, brotherly relationship in Christ. Moreover, Paul greets all the believers and churches in Rome in the name of all the churches in the Middle East, in his capacity as their representative.
He, who looks attentively at this list which includes 25 names, recognizes that the churches at that time were not large churches of stone, but congregations of believers, who met together in limited circles in their own houses, whom Paul considered altogether as the temple of the Holy Spirit in Rome. They came from different directions to the capital, and formed an international church in different languages and customs. But they all testified in one tongue to the name of Christ and his blood, and to his righteousness given to them. Maybe in this list of names we read of some martyrs who were killed during the great persecution at the time of Nero, the Roman tyrant. He arrested the Christians, and hanged them, and poured combustible matters on their bodies, to make of them flaming torches, or roasted their bodies on iron bars heated by a fire under them.

O heavenly Father, we worship you because you gathered the church of Jesus Christ in Rome, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, in different languages; and this church became a symbol of the new creation, because the eternal life dwelt in them. Give us also the strength not to be lazy, but to seek and accept all those who love the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; the one God.
What can we learn from the names of the saints mentioned in the list?