Our Morning Offering – 24 January – O Fathers of Our Ancient Faith

Our Morning Offering – 24 January – Feast of Saint Timothy, Bishop and Martyr

O Fathers of Our Ancient Faith

O Fathers of our ancient faith,
With all the heav’n, we sing your fame
Whose sound went forth in all the earth
To tell of Christ and bless His Name.

You took the Gospel to the poor,
The Word of God alight in you,
Which in our day is told again,
That timeless Word, forever new.

You told of God, Who died for us
And out of death triumphant rose,
Who gave the Truth which made us free
and changeless through the ages goes.

Praise Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Whose gift is faith that never dies,
A light in darkness now, until
The Day-Star in our hearts arise.

O Fathers of Our Ancient Faith is written by the Benedictine Nuns of Stanbrook Abbey. In the Divine Office it is sung at Morning Prayer in the Common of Apostles. It is set to the anonymous tune associated with the 7th century Latin hymn, Creator Alme Siderum.


Saint of the Day – 24 January – Saint Timothy (Died c 97)

Saint of the Day – 24 January – Saint Timothy (Died c 97) Disciple of St Paul, Bishop of Ephesus and Martyr, Confessor, Missionary. Died by being stoned to death in c 97. Patronages – against intestinal disorders; of Termoli, Italy. Also known as – Timotheus. Additional Memorials – 26 January (Novus Ordo), 23 January (Australia), 27 January (Norway).

The Roman Martyrology states of St Timothy today: “The birthday of St Timothy, disciple of the Apostle, St Paul, who consecrated him Bishop of Ephesus. After many combats for Christ, he was stoned for reprehending those who offered sacrifices to Diana and shortly after, went peacefully to rest in the Lord.”

St Timothy, the beloved disciple of St Paul, was of Lycaonia and probably of the City of Lystra. His father was a Gentile but his mother, Eunice, was a Jewess. When Paul and Barnabas first visited Lystra, Paul healed a person crippled from birth, leading many of the inhabitants to accept his teaching. When he returned a few years later with Silas, Timothy was already a respected member of the Christian community as were his mother and grandmother Lois and St Paul commends their faith. Timothy had made the holy scriptures his study from his childhood. In 1 Corinthians 16:10, there is a suggestion that he was by nature reserved and quiet: “When Timothy comes, see that you put him at ease among you, for he is doing the work of the Lord.”

Rembrandt’s Timothy and his grandmother, 1648.

Timothy’s father was a Greek Gentile. Thus Timothy had not been circumcised and Paul now ensured that this was done, according to Acts 16:1-3, to enable Timothy’s acceptability to the Jews, who they would be evangelising. St Chrysostom here admires the prudence, steadiness and charity of St Paul and we may add, the voluntary obedience of our disciple, Timothy.

After he was circumcised, St Paul, by the imposition of hands, committed to him the ministry of preaching, his rare virtue making ample amends for his want of age. From that time the Apostle regarded him not only as his disciple and most dear son but as his brother and the companion of his labours. He calls him a man of God and tells the Philippians, that he found no-one so truly united to him in heart and sentiments, as Timothy.

Timothy became St Paul’s disciple and later his constant companion and co-worker in preaching.[18] In the year 52, Paul and Silas took Timothy along with them on their journey to Macedonia. Augustine extols his zeal and disinterestedness in immediately forsaking his country, his house, and his parents, to follow the apostle, to share in his poverty and sufferings.

Timothy may have been subject to ill health or frequent ailments” and Paul encouraged him to “use a little wine for your stomach’s sake,” hence his patronage of stomach ailments,”

When Paul went on to Athens, Silas and Timothy stayed for some time at Beroea and Thessalonica before joining Paul at Corinth.

Timothy’s bond with Paul was close. Timothy’s name appears as the co-author on 2 Corinthians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians and Philemon. Paul wrote to the Philippians about Timothy, “I have no-one like him.”

When Paul was in prison and awaiting martyrdom, he summoned his faithful friend Timothy for a last farewell.

That Timothy was jailed at least once during the period of the writing of the New Testament is implied by St Paul in Hebrews when he mentions Timothy’s release at the end of the epistle.

Although not stated in the Scriptures other sources have records of the Apostle’s death. The apocryphal Acts of Timothy (5th Century) states that in the year 97, the 80-year-old Bishop tried to halt a procession in honour of the goddess Diana by preaching the Gospel. The angry pagans beat him, dragged him through the streets and stoned him to death.

From the 13th century until 1969 the feast of Timothy (alone, that is without St Titus whose feast day is 6 February) is today, 24 January, the day before that of the Conversion of Saint Paul.

In the 4th century, the relics of Timothy were transferred from Ephesus to Constantinople and placed in the Church of the Holy Apostles near the tombs of Saints Andrew and Luke. In the 13th century, the relics seem to have been taken to Italy by a count returning from the crusades and buried, around 1239, in the Termoli Cathedral. The remains were re-discovered in 1945, during restoration works.


Feast of St Timothy and Memorials of the Saints – 24 January

St Timothy (1st Century) Disciple of St Paul, Bishop and Martyr

St Francis de Sales CO, OM, OFM (Cap) (1567-1622)– Doctor of the Church: Doctor caritatis (Doctor of Charity) “The Gentle Christ of Geneva” and the “Gentleman Saint” – Bishop of Geneva, Doctor of Law and Theology, Writer, Theologian, Mystic, Teacher, Preacher, Founder along with St Jane Frances de Chantal, founded the women’s Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary (Visitandines). (Memorial)
Feast Day – 29 January (General Roman Calendar of 1960 and local communities.

St Anicet Hryciuk
St Artemius of Clermont
St Bartlomiej Osypiuk
Bertrand of Saint Quentin
St Daniel Karmasz
St Exuperantius of Cingoli

St Felician of Foligno (c 158-c 250) Bishop and Martyr, Confessor.
St Felician’s Life and Death:

St Filip Geryluk
Bl Francesc de Paula Colomer Prísas
St Guasacht
St Ignacy Franczuk
Bl John Grove
St Julian Sabas the Elder
St Luigj Prendushi
St Macedonius Kritophagos
Blessed Marcolino Amanni of Forli OP (1317-1397)
Bl Marie Poussepin

Blessed Paola Gambara Costa TOSF (1463-1515) a Countess and member of the Third Order of St Francis, Laywoman, Mother, Widow, Apostle of the poor and sick.
Her Life:

St Projectus
St Sabinian of Troyes
St Suranus of Sora
St Thyrsus
Bl William Ireland

Martyrs of Asia Minor – 4 Saints: A group of Christians martyred together for their faith. The only details to survive are four of their names – Eugene, Mardonius, Metellus and Musonius. They were burned at the stake in Asia Minor.

Martyrs of Podlasie – 13 Beati: Podlasie is an area in modern eastern Poland that, in the 18th-century, was governed by the Russian Empire. Russian sovereigns sought to bring all Eastern-rite Catholics into the Orthodox Church. Catherine II suppressed the Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine in 1784. Nicholas I did the same in Belarus and Lithuania in 1839. Alexander II did the same in the Byzantine-rite Eparchy of Chelm in 1874 and officially suppressed the Eparchy in 1875. The Bishop and the Priests who refused to join the Orthodox Church were deported to Siberia or imprisoned. The laity, left on their own, had to defend their Church, their liturgy and their union with Rome.
On 24 January 1874 soldiers entered the village of Pratulin to transfer the parish to Orthodox control. Many of the faithful gathered to defend their parish and Church. The soldiers tried to disperse the people but failed. Their commander tried to bribe the parishioners to abandon Rome but failed. He threatened them with assorted punishments but this failed to move them. Deciding that a show of force was needed, the commander ordered his troops to fire on the unarmed, hymn-singing laymen. Thirteen of the faithful died, most married men with families, ordinary men with great faith.
We know almost nothing about their lives outside of this incident. Their families were not allowed to honour them or participate in the funerals and the authorities hoped they would be forgotten. Their names are:
• Anicet Hryciuk
• Bartlomiej Osypiuk
• Daniel Karmasz
• Filip Geryluk
• Ignacy Franczuk
• Jan Andrzejuk
• Konstanty Bojko
• Konstanty Lukaszuk
• Lukasz Bojko
• Maksym Hawryluk
• Michal Wawryszuk
• Onufry Wasyluk
• Wincenty Lewoniuk
• shot on 14 January 1874 by Russian soldiers in Podlasie, Poland
• buried nearby without rites by those soldiers
Beatified – 6 October 1996.

Martyrs of Antioch: