Saint Cleopas the Apostle
|Born||Unknown (1st century)|
|Died||10 November (1st century)|
|Venerated in||Eastern Orthodox Church|
Roman Catholic Church
|Feast||25 September (Roman Catholic)|
30 October (Eastern Orthodox)
10 November (Coptic Orthodox)
Some writers claim that the name Clopas in John 19:25 ("Mary of Clopas" Κλωπᾶς) is a Hellenized form of a claimed Aramaic name Qlopha (קלופא), and that Cleopas' name (Κλεόπας) is an abbreviated form of "Cleopatros", a Greek name meaning "glory of the father" (best known in the feminine form Cleopatra).
Catholic and Orthodox traditions hold that Clopas, believed as brother of Saint Joseph, is the same person with Cleopas. Others consider that Clophas, Cleophas and Alphaeus are all the same name.
This occurs three days after the crucifixion on the same day Jesus had his resurrection. The two men have heard the tomb of Jesus was found empty earlier that day, but have not yet believed the women's testimony. They are discussing the events of the past few days when a stranger asks them what they are discussing. "Their eyes were kept from recognizing him." He soon rebukes them for their unbelief and gives them a Bible study on prophecies about the Messiah. They ask the stranger to join them for the evening meal. When he breaks the bread "their eyes were opened" and they recognize him as the resurrected Jesus. Jesus immediately vanishes.
Cleopas and his friend hasten back to Jerusalem to carry the news to the other disciples, and learn Jesus has also appeared to [one of] them. The same event is recorded in Mark 16:12–16:13.
Jesus met them, with Mary His mother, along with her sister Mary of Clopas, whom the Lord God had given to her father Clopas and her mother Anna, because they had offered Mary the mother of Jesus to the Lord. And she was called by the same name, Mary, for the consolation of her parents.
The most common interpretation is that "of Clopas" indicates the husband of Mary of Clopas and subsequently the father of her children, but some see "of Clopas" as meaning this Mary's father. Medieval tradition saw Clopas as the second husband of Saint Anne and the father of "Mary of Clopas".
The historian, Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea, quotes the earlier chronicler, Hegesippus, who wrote, c. AD 180, that he had years before interviewed the grandsons of Jude the Apostle and learned that Clopas was the brother of Joseph, husband of the Virgin Mary: "After the martyrdom of James, it was unanimously decided that Simeon, son of Clopas, was worthy to occupy the see of Jerusalem. He was, it is said, a cousin of the Saviour." Hegesippus noted that Clopas was a brother of Joseph (Eusebius, Hist. eccl., III, 11). Epiphanius adds that Joseph and Cleopas were brothers, sons of "Jacob, surnamed Panther."
According to the surviving fragments of the work Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord of the Apostolic Father Papias of Hierapolis, who lived c. 70–163 AD, Cleophas and Alphaeus are the same person: "Mary the wife of Cleophas or Alphaeus, who was the mother of James the bishop and apostle, and of Simon and Thaddeus, and of one Joseph" The Anglican theologian J.B. Lightfoot regarded the fragment quoted above as spurious.