Saint Timothy of Ephesus: Eastern Icon and Life Facts
Religious icons of the apostles have always been held in high esteem by the Orthodox Church. St. Timothy of Ephesus was a disciple of St. Paul the Apostle who, like all the disciples of Christ, devoted his life to the service of God. Although the Eastern icon of St. Timothy is not so popular, it is an important relic that can often be found in the home icon corners of the faithful. The Orthodox Church commemorates the saint on February 4.
Saint Timothy of Ephesus: facts about his life
Timothy lived in Lystra, a city in the province of Lycaon. He came to believe in Christ around 48-49 AD, being influenced by the Apostle Paul’s preaching during his first journey.
Timothy listened to the sermons of St. Paul the Apostle about the teachings of Christ and saw him perform the miracle of healing a lame man. Timothy’s mother was one of the Apostle Paul’s numerous listeners and converted to the Christian faith after her husband’s death. Once, she invited the Apostle to her house and asked to receive her son as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Paul left Timothy in the care of people who could teach him the Scriptures. He was well prepared for service when the Apostle returned to Lystra, so St. Paul decided to take Timothy with him. Together, they preached in Ephesus, Corinth, and various regions of Greece and Asia Minor.
The Apostle Timothy later became the first bishop of the church of Ephesus; he actively spread Christianity and was martyred for it. According to the church legend, Saint Timothy was killed by pagans in 80. His relics were transferred to Constantinople in the 4th century.
Eastern icon of Saint Timothy: main iconographic features
The Eastern icon of Saint Timothy commemorates his sacrifice in the name of the Christian faith and Jesus Christ. The first images of Saint Timothy appeared around the 4th century. Antique icons depict the saint full-length and waist-length. In his hands, Timothy holds a scroll symbolizing the Holy Scriptures. Icon painters often portray the saint holding a cross to remind people of his martyrdom.
The Eastern icon of Saint Timothy keeps the faithful away from danger and evil people. It is also believed that the saint helps those traveling long distances.
Saint Timothy of Ephesus is remembered in the Orthodox Church on January 17 and February 4.