Saturday, 22 August 2015

22nd August

Symphorian & Timothy

The Martyrdom of St. Symphorian - Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

Two Christian martyrs who, though unrelated and killed in different places and at different times, share a common feast day. Whilst we don't know much about either there are some remarkable art works and churches in memory of both.


Symphorian was beheaded for not worshipping the pagan goddess Cybele. Symphorian is said to have asked for tools to destroy the statue. He was arrested and flogged and, because he was from a noble family, he was given a chance to recant, and was offered bribes to do so, but, sticking to hi faith, he declined. His mother was present at her son's death. There is a St. Symphorian's Church at Veryan, Cornwall.


Timothy came from Antioch to Rome where he preached for fifteen months and lived with Sylvester, who later became pope. The prefect of the city, Tarquinus Perpenna, threw him into prison, tortured, and finally beheaded him in 311. A Christian woman named Theon buried him in her garden.