St. Mary's Anglican Catholic Church

Diocese of the Midwest

The Book of Common Prayer celebrates the Conversion of Paul the Apostle on January 27th as a “red letter day,” with a Collect, Epistle, & Gospel appointed for Holy Communion on that day. It is fitting that traditional Anglican Calendars, such as is found in the 1662 English Prayer Book, include a lesser or “black letter day” for St Timothy on the previous day, January 26th. St Paul had a number of fellow-laborers in the service of the Gospel, including, Saints Barnabas, John Mark, Silas, & Titus. But the Apostle’s association with Timothy seems to have been the closest in personal terms. (2 Timothy 1:3-4; Philippians 2:19-20)
Timothy’s mother was a Jewess who had converted to the faith of Christ; but his father was a Greek or gentile. (Acts 16:1) The precise circumstances of his conversion are unknown, but the faith of his mother, Eunice, and of his grandmother, Lois, must have played some part. (2 Timothy 1:5) He was probably converted during Paul’s first missionary journey; and he 
witnessed Paul’s suffering for the sake of Christ and the Gospel from the beginning. (2 Timothy 3:11) Timothy was chosen to accompany Paul & Silas on their missionary journeys at least because of a prophetic utterance that he was God’s choice as well as Paul’s. Timothy was thus specially called and set apart (or “consecrated”) through the laying on of hands to share in the apostolic ministry by the Apostle Paul and others. (1 Timothy 1:18; 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6; see also Acts 13:2-3)

As Paul’s letters indicate. Timothy was invaluable to him in his service to the Kingdom of God. He travelled extensively with Paul; and he also represented the Apostle to the various churches the Apostle founded in Greece & Asia Minor. He also ministered to Paul during his imprisonment in Rome. (Romans 16:21) Apparently Timothy also was imprisoned for a time. (Hebrews 13:23) Because Paul suffered from some sort of malady affecting the eyes, Timothy apparently assisted Paul in writing several of his letters.

During two of the several long periods of separation, Paul addressed two of his letters to Timothy containing both exhortations & encouragements. Paul warned his young lieutenant to avoid youthful lusts; and never to be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ in this hostile & unbelieving world. (2 Timothy 1:8; 2:22) But the Apostle’s main concern was that Timothy should hold fast to the doctrine he had received; and that he should preach the same faithfully.

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:12) Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.(2 Timothy 1:13-14)Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.(2 Timothy 4:2-3)

Paul gave Timothy special responsibility to oversee the Church in Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3); and according to tradition he eventually became bishop there, serving there fifteen years. Paul earlier created a stir in Ephesus when he first preached the Gospel, which was deemed offensive to the local cult of the goddess Diana; and Paul only narrowly escaped with his life. Thirty years after the Apostle’s death, his apostolic successor Bishop Timothy continued the faithful proclamation of the Gospel in Ephesus; and he was beaten & stoned to death at the age of 80 in 97AD by the devotees of Diana, sharing in Paul’s martyrdom as well as his ministry. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:8)