Feast Day : January 26 (formerly 24 in the West); January 22 (in the East)
Patronage: against intestinal disorders; against stomach diseases
Also known as: Timotheus
Timothy was born in Lystra, Lycaonia; his father was Greek, his mother Jewish. His mother, Eunice, her mother, Lois, and Timothy converted to Christianity during St. Paul’s visit to Lycaonia. Because Timothy’s mother was Jewish by birth, St. Paul allowed him to be circumcised to satisfy the Jews. When Paul returned to Lystra seven years later, Timothy replaced St. Barnabas at the evangelist’s side. When Jewish opposition forced Paul to leave Beroea, Timothy remained behind to baptize, organize and confirm new Christian converts. Later he was sent to Thessalonica to report on the status of Christianity there, and to support believers faced with persecution from Rome. His report served as the basis for Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians, believed to be the earliest writing in the New Testament. In A.D. 58, Timothy went with St. Erastus to Corinth. They then accompanied Paul into Ephesus and Asia Minor. It is likely that Timothy was with Paul when the latter was imprisoned in Caesarea and in Rome. Timothy himself was imprisoned in Rome for a while. Paul sent Timothy two epistles, one from Macedonia around A.D. 65, the other from Rome, during his third and last imprisonment, while he was awaiting his death. These letters instructed Timothy to correct false doctrine and to appoint bishops and deacons. According to tradition, Timothy went to preach in Ephesus and established the Church there. After denouncing the Dionysian festival of Katagogia, the tradition continues, he was stoned and clubbed to death about the year 97. His relics are said to have been translated to Constantinople in 356, and cures at his shrine there were later mentioned by St. Jerome and St. John Chrysostom. In art, Timothy often is portrayed as a bishop with a club and stone, or being stoned to death. He is also shown receiving an epistle from Paul.