The Septuagint (first translation of the Hebrew Old Testament), uses the name “Patriarch” when referring to the forefathers or ancestors of spiritual and lay leaders of the Old Testament. They are: Adam, Abel, Seth, Enosh, Enoch, Noah, Melchizedek, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Eliezer, Joshua, Samuel, Samson, Jephthah, Barak, Gideon and other Holy Patriarchs.
The Church has classified our forefather Adam into the class of saints, confirming the truth that Christ’s saving blood was shed for each and every person, starting with the ancestor of all mankind. By means of the salvation of Adam, original sin was redeemed from all who have followed him, who repent, believe and are baptised in the name of the Holy Trinity, thus becoming members of the Church of Christ.
The word “Ancestor” is also synonymous with “Head of Tribe”. The Holy Forefathers, as heads of tribes, played a very important role. Many of them lived hundreds of years and influenced their families and tribal members. Their minds and souls sustained a desire to become closer to divine existence and live a God pleasing life. Feeling the presence of God, they advised, warned and taught the people to stay away from sinful ways. Due to their saintly way of life, they continue to be vivid examples for us. The ultimate goal of their lives was the realisation of God’s omnipotent will on earth. Acting as mediators with God, they gave us a closer relationship with God. In our present day and current times, their sacred desire to achieve justice and fairness is a valuable lesson for all.
We commemorate the Holy Forefathers to stress the fact that we are not celebrating some myth, legend or story that has come down to us. Rather we are observing an historical intervention of the Almighty into human history. This coming of Jesus Christ was foretold, it was awaited, it was prayed for, it was expected and it occurred.