Holy Apostle Timothy
This is the Apostle to whom two of St Paul’s Epistles are addressed. He was from Lystra in Lycaonia, born to a pagan Greek father and a Jewish mother. His mother, whose name was Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois, brought him up in piety and love of the Scriptures. The Apostle Paul converted the two women during his first missionary visit to Lystra; returning seven years later, he found Timothy full of zeal for Christ, and baptized him. Timothy became his closest disciple: in his epistles, St Paul calls calls him “my dearly beloved son.” So that Timothy would be able to preach the Gospel in the synagogues, St Paul personally circumcised him.
The Apostle Paul consecrated Timothy as the first bishop of Ephesus. As such, he became a disciple and exarch of St John the Evangelist, who supervised all the churches in Asia. In AD 97, he attempted to oppose the celebration of a festival to Artemis; the pagans, enraged, mobbed him and beat him to death. He was buried near the tomb of St John. In 356 his precious relics were translated (along with those of Sts Andrew and Luke) to Constantinople and enshrined in the Church of the Holy Apostles. In 1204 they were stolen by the Latin Crusaders when they pillaged the city.
Holy Martyr Anastasius of Persia (628)
He was a Persian, the son of a Magus, a soldier in the Persian army under Chosroes II, who at that time was making inroads into the Christian Empire. His Persian name was Magundat. Chosroes captured Jerusalem in 614, and carried away the Precious Cross as a trophy. Magundat heard of this, and of all the miracles worked by the Cross; and he wondered why the ruins of an instrument of torture were so revered by the Christians. Seeking out Christian elders to answer his questions, he learned of the Incarnation, life, Crucifixion and Resurrection of the Christ, and with joy embraced the Christian Faith as Truth. He was baptized by St Modestus, Patriarch of Jerusalem, and given the name of Anastasius. At the same time, he took monastic vows. For a time he lived in a monastery in Jerusalem, but then went forth, found some Persian Magi at Caesarea, and chastised them for embracing delusions. Since he was in Persian territory (as he well knew), he was taken to the Persian governor, interrogated, imprisoned, and finally taken with other captives to Persia. There, despite many severe tortures, he refused to return to his former error, and was hanged by one hand, strangled, then beheaded.