The Departure of St. Timothy, Bishop of Ansena (Antinoe)
On this day, the saint Abba Timothy, Bishop of Ansena, departed. He was righteous and chaste from his youth. He became a monk at a young age and lived a righteous life. Because of his chastity, righteousness, knowledge and his good character, he was chosen bishop for the city of Ansena (Antinoe). He preached to the believers and guided the people to believe in Christ. The Governor however, seized him and tortured him in various ways, inside the prison and outside it, for three consecutive years. There were many others with him in prison who were seized because of their faith. The tyrant Governor continued to bring several of them out of prison and shed their blood after torturing them, until only a few remained in prison, this father was one of them. When the Lord destroyed Diocletian, and Constantine (the Emperor who loved Christ) reigned, he ordered all the prisoners who were persecuted for the sake of their faith in Christ to be set free, in all the countries under his authority. Father Timothy was also released and went to his diocese and gathered all the priests of his diocese. They prayed to the Lord all night. Father Timothy asked for the salvation of the soul of the Governor who had tortured him saying, "Because O Lord, he is the one who has brought me great blessing by bringing me close to You, be good to him so he might become close to You." The people who were gathered marvelled at the purity of this father's heart, who was fulfilling his Master's words, "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you." (Matthew 5:44)
When the Governor heard that, he marvelled saying, "I had thought that he would curse me for what I inflicted upon him, for I had ill treated him greatly, but instead he is blessing me. Truly the faith of these people is a 'Divine Faith'." He sent for Abba Timothy. He inquired about the principles of the Christian faith. The father revealed to him the cause of the Incarnation of the Son of God and what the prophets had spoken many years before, concerning Him and how their prophesies were fulfilled, giving him proofs from the scriptures.
Consequently, the Governor believed in Christ and the father the Bishop baptized him. The Governor subsequently resigned the governorship and became a monk.
As for St. Timothy, he continued to teach his flock, guarding them until he departed in peace.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
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