Sts Timothy and Maura suffered for the faith during the persecution under the Emperor Diocletian. Timothy came from Egypt and was the son of a priest. Raised in the Church, he became a lector and spent his evenings preaching the Gospel as well as keeping the holy Scriptures and liturgical books safe in his home during the persecutions. In the year 286 Timothy married a pious 17-year-old woman named Maura, and the two began a life of prayer and Christian witness together.
When Timothy and Maura had been married for only 20 days, Timothy was denounced as a Christian and a keeper of the holy books. His captors, on the authority of Diocletian himself, demanded that Timothy surrender the books of Scripture to them. Timothy refused and was tortured. Arian, the governor, tried to convince him to give in for Maura’s sake. Maura was brought to Timothy and encouraged him to stand firm and not deny Christ. She confessed to be a Christian herself and was subject to torture as well. Afterward, she was immersed in a pot of boiling water, but remained unharmed. While the governor was impressed by the miracle, he soon resumed his tortures by having the young couple nailed to two crosses facing each other.
For 10 days they prayed together, sang hymns, and encouraged each other as they suffered for Christ. Ultimately, both found themselves welcomed into the arms of Christ as glorious martyrs. The witness of their courage and joy so inspired their torturer that he soon became a Christian, was martyred himself, and is venerated in the Eastern Church as St. Arian of Alexandria.
· What happens to a branch when it is cut off a vine? What is Jesus trying to teach us through this analogy?
· In what way does the story of the vine and the branches describe your relationship with Jesus?
· Jesus says, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.” What would you ask of Jesus today?
· In the story of Sts. Timothy and Maura, why do you think Maura encouraged Timothy to keep the faith? Who encourages you to keep the faith?