Bishop Confessor (c. 32-c.97)
St. Paul's "beloved son in the faith" (1 Tim 1:1) and his most intimate disciple was a native of Lystra in Asia Minor (Turkey). The son of a Gentile father and a Jewish mother, Timothy probably had accepted Christianity during Paul's first missionary journey in the year 47, when he must have been a boy of about 15. By the time Paul saw him again 4 years later, he had heard Timothy's virtues and zeal so highly spoken of by the faithful of Iconium and Lystra that he decided to adopt him as his travelling companion and assistant in addition to Silas, who had come with him from Jerusalem. In order to have Timothy received well by Jewish communities, Paul had him circumcized.
Timothy seems to have remained the closest collaborator of the great Apostle throughout the next 13 years: on his missionary journeys, when he was being sent to Rome as a prisoner, and after his acquittal there when he returned east as far as Ephesus __ a total of some 4,000 miles on foot and an equal distance by sea! At times we hear of his being sent ahead, at other times of his remaining behind to confirm new converts in their faith. During the 18 months he spent in Corinth, he was sent back north to encourage the brethren in Thessalonica (Saloniki) to remain steadfast in the face of the persecution they were undergoing.
As seen from the various letters of St. Paul (including those to Timothy), Timothy comes across as one very young and timid, so much so that St. Paul advises him, "Let no one disregard you because you are young", and puts him on guard against certain Gnostic heresies rampant at that time. He must have been barely 32 when he eas made Bishop of Ephesus, a great See that, according to St. John Chrysostom, comprised all the churches of the Roman province of Asia. Interestingly, St. John Damascene states that it was as Bishop of Ephesus that Timothy witnessed Mary's departure from this world. St. John the Evangelist terms him "the angel of the Church of Ephesus".
Timothy was affectionate by nature and frail in health; Paul always showed a fatherly concern for him, praising him as a beloved son, a loyal imitator and co-worker, and a dearly loved friend who was always by his side. Sadly, though, whether he was able to be with Paul in response to his summons before he died is uncertain.
Also uncertain is the where and how of Timothy's own death. But according to tradition, he was stoned to death at Ephesus under the reign of Nerva Ceasar Augustus, when trying to dissuade the pagans from worshipping "Diana of the Ephesians".
St. Timothy's long-lost relics were re-discovered a few years ago during some reconstruction work in the cathedral of Termoli (on the Adriatic coast of Italy), where they had been completely walled up in masonry, no doubt, for safe-keeping during troubled times. He is invoked against diseases of the stomach.