Saint Timolaus and Companions


The story of Saint Timolaus and his companions can be found in the Martyrs of Palestine written by Eusebius. Diocletian had begun his nightmarish persecution of Christians in the Roman empire by demanding them to worship and make sacrifice to pagan gods. Refusing to do so meant certain death and almost assured terrible tortures leading up to the death in an attempt to get the Christian to recant his faith (a powerful tool of propaganda for the Emperor). Urban, the governor of Caesarea had just finished killing two Christians by having them thrown to beasts in the public arena when he began to plan a much larger set of Christian executions for the upcoming festival.


Timolaus, a young man from Pontus, took five other Christians when they heard of the upcoming executions and went in haste to the governor's mansion. Once they arrived, they tied their hands behind their backs and proclaimed loudly that they were Christians as well and that if any were to be thrown to the beasts for the festival, they wished to join them. The governor, not knowing quite how to react, tossed the group in prison. Two days later he had them decapitated alongside another pair of Christians.


Eusebius writes that his comrades were Dionysius from Tripolis, Romulus a sub-deacon, Paesis, Alexander and Alexander from Gaza. The two executed alongside were Agapius and Dionysius. Their feast day is March 24th.

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