THE HOLY MARTYRS TIMOTHY, THECLA, AND AGAPIUS

 

The Martyrs Timothy, Agapius and Thekla suffered martyrdom in the year 304. The Martyr Timothy was a native of the city of Caesarea in Palestine. He studied the Holy Scripture, and having received a special gift of eloquence, he became a teacher of the Christian Faith. 

During the time of persecution against Christians under the co-emperors Diocletian (284-305) and Maximian (305-311), the martyr was brought to trial by the governor Urban. Saint Timothy fearlessly declared himself a Christian and spoke about the love of the Lord Jesus Christ for mankind and of His coming into the world for their salvation. The martyr was subjected to cruel torture, and when they saw that he still remained steadfast in his love for Christ, they killed him.

And in this same town and year the Martyrs Agapius and Thecla (not to be confused with St. Thecla the Protomartyr) were condemned. They were thrown to be eaten by wild beasts, and suffering in this manner, they received their heavenly crowns. SS. Agapius and Thecla, after suffering many torments, were condemned by the same judge to be led to Cæsarea, and there exposed to wild beasts. Thecla was despatched by the beasts in the amphitheatre; but Agapius escaped both from their fury and from the swords of the soldiers on that day. He was therefore detained two years longer in prison, till Maximin Daia Cæsar gave orders that this confessor should be one of the victims to grace the festival, unless he would abjure the Christian faith. His sufferings had no way abated his constancy, and the delay of his crown had increased the ardour of his desires speedily to join his companions in glory. In the amphitheatre he was torn by a bear, but not killed either by the beasts or soldiers; and wounded as he was, on the following day he was thrown into the sea. Both the Roman Catholics and the Orthodox celebrate the memory of these martyrs on the 19th of August.

A glorious company of happy friends waits for us in God’s heavenly kingdom! Innumerable legions of angels, and all the saints who have lived on earth before us from the beginning of the world; so many holy kings, doctors, hermits, martyrs, virgins, and confessors, nuns, and pious men and women.

They are already arrived at the safe harbour of eternal bliss. With what pleasure do we, with Agapius, raise our thoughts and eyes towards them, contemplating the joys and glory of which they are now possessed, and comparing with it our present state of conflicts, dangers, and sufferings! They look down from their seats of glory on us, and behold our combats with affection and solicitude for us.

We are called to follow them, and do not we redouble our desires to join them? Do not we earnestly prepare ourselves by compunction, penance, divine love, and the practice of all good works, to be worthy of their fellowship? Do not we exult at the thought that we are very shortly, by the divine mercy, to be united to that blessed company, and made partners of their joy, triumph, and glory? Do not we sigh for that hour, and, in the mean time, despise from our hearts all foolish promises or threats of the world, and bear with joy all labors or pains, that we may with the saints enjoy Christ?

Troparion

Your holy martyrs Timothy, Agapius, and Thecla, O Lord, / through their sufferings have received incorruptible crowns from You, our God. / For having Your strength, they laid low their adversaries, / and shattered the powerless boldness of demons. / Through their intercessions, save our souls!