On January 26, the Church celebrates the Feast Day of Saint Timothy. Teaching children about saints provides inspiring examples of discipleship and models for living out their faith. Celebrate the Feast Day of Saint Timothy with a printable intermediate resource.
Who Was Saint Timothy?
Timothy was born in Lystra, a city in what is now the country of Turkey. His father was Greek and his mother was Jewish. It is believed that his grandmother was a Christian.
When Paul came to Lystra as part of his first missionary trip to the region, Timothy was around 20 years old. Timothy converted to Christianity and eventually joined Paul in his apostolic work. Over the years the two became good friends. Together they traveled through what is now Greece, Turkey and Israel to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. Timothy helped Paul in starting Christian communities in the ancient cities of Corinth, Thessalonica and Philippi.
Paul had great respect for Timothy and thought of him as a son. In letters he wrote to Timothy, Paul indicates that his young friend was somewhat timid and was frequently ill. He encouraged Timothy to be strong and to take care of himself (1 Timothy 5:23). He also urged the communities to receive Timothy with warmth and hospitality. Timothy’s kind and unselfish nature provided great comfort for Paul during difficult times.
Eventually Timothy went to Ephesus, where he was made bishop and lived for several years. When he tried to stop the worship of pagan idols, he was stoned to death by angry townspeople. He is honored by the Church as both a bishop and a martyr.
What Does Saint Timothy Teach Us?
Besides his dedication to spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ, Timothy reminds us of powerful influence that community and friends can have on our faith. Saint Timothy reminds us to be thankful for our true friends and strive to be a good and faithful friend to others.
Teaching Children About Saint Timothy
Have your children (or students) reflect on what it means to be a friend to another person. Then have them complete the acrostic activity below. Finally, say a prayer thanking God for the gift of friends in your life.