On this day, of the year 97 A.D., St. Timothy, the Apostle, was martyred. He was born in the city of Lystra of the district of Lycaonia in Asia Minor, to a Greek father who worshipped the stars and a Jewish mother whose name was Eunice. (Acts 16:1-2, Timothy 1:5)
When St. Paul preached in Lystra, this saint heard his teachings and saw the signs that God wrought by his hands. He believed and was baptized. Timothy rejected the gods of his father and forsook the faith of his mother. He became a disciple of St. Paul the Apostle, followed him in his travels, and shared his labors.
In the year 53 A.D., St. Paul ordained St. Timothy bishop over the city of Ephesus and the neighboring cities. St. Timothy preached there and converted many to the Christian faith and baptized them.
St. Paul wrote two epistles to St. Timothy: the first of which was in 65 A.D., and the second was shortly before 67 A.D., urging him, "Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine, continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you." (1Tim. 4:16) He also wrote to him about the qualifications of bishop, priest, deacon, and the widow. He cautioned him also about false prophets and commanded him not to lay his hand on one in haste but only after thorough examinations and testing.
St. Paul called Timothy his son and his beloved. St. Timothy delivered four epistles for St. Paul: the first was the Epistle to Corinth, the second to Philippi, the third to Thessalonica, and the fourth to the Hebrews.
St. Timothy shepherded the flock of Christ extremely well, and he illumined minds by his teachings, instructions, and admonitions. He continued to rebuke the Jews and the Greeks, therefore they envied him and congregated against him and started beating him until he was martyred in the city of Ephesus. The believers took his body and buried it.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
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