January 22, 2017

Holy Apostle Timothy of the Seventy

St. Timothy the Apostle (Feast Day - January 22)


Adorned with a wreath of divine eros Timothy,
You were beaten with clubs that painted the earth with your blood.
On the twenty-second your spirit was raised Timothy.

Saint Timothy was from the city of Lystra in the province of Lycaonia, in the confines of Isauria, which is beneath Iconium. His father was a pagan called Ellinos, and his mother was a Jew called Eunike (Eunice). The Apostle Paul would later praise Timothy's mother and grandmother because of their sincere faith: "I yearn to see you again, recalling your tears, so that I may be filled with joy, as I recall your sincere faith that first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and that, I am confident, lives also in you" (2 Tim. 1:4-5). Timothy first met with the great Apostle in Lystra and was himself a witness when Paul healed the one lame from birth. Having learned the Christian faith from the Apostle Paul, and after being baptized by him, he became his co-worker, constant traveling companion and fellow preacher of the divine gospel. He traveled with him to Jerusalem, Achaia, Macedonia, Italy and Spain. Sweet in soul, he was a great zealot for the faith, and a superb preacher. Paul calls him "my own son in the faith": "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, Who is our hope, to Timothy, my own son in the faith: grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord" (1 Tim. 1:1-2).

Before Saint Paul's martyrdom in Rome, Timothy was ordained by him as Bishop of Ephesus. From that time he had Saint John the Evangelist and Theologian as his teacher. But when the Emperor Dometian banished John from Ephesus to the island of Patmos, blessed Timothy remained in Ephesus where he served as Bishop. During the time of an idolatrous feast called Katagogion, which was licentious and bloody due to killings, the pagans, resentful of the Christians, treacherously and in disguise, attacked Timothy who was trying to instruct them in the true faith, and killed him with the clubs they had in their hands. This took place about the year 93 A.D. His honorable relic was buried by Christians. Later it was translated to Constantinople and interred in the Church of the Holy Apostles alongside of the graves of Saint Luke the Evangelist and Saint Andrew the First-called, and this is commemorated on January 24.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Thou didst learn kindness and goodness, and wast sober and temperate in all things, and wast clothed with a good conscience as becomes a holy person. Thou didst draw from the Chosen Vessel unspeakable mysteries; and having kept the faith thou didst finish thy course, O Apostle Timothy. Intercede with Christ our God that our souls may be saved.

Kontakion in the First Tone
Let us the faithful praise Timothy the divine disciple and fellow-traveller of Paul. And with him let us honour Anastasios who shone like a star from Persia, and who drives away the passions of our souls and the diseases of our bodies.