Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Sts. Timotheus and Symphorian

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 14
Sts. Timotheus and Symphorian

by Gabriel Meier

Martyrs whose feast is observed on 22 August. During the pontificate of Melchiades (311-13), St. Timotheus 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. This is related in the legend of Sylvester. The name of Timotheus occurs in the earliest martyrologies.

According to a legend of the early fifth century, St. Symphorian of Autun was beheaded, while still a young man, during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. His mother, the Blessed Augusta (?), encourged him on his way to execution, 22 August, 178. Bishop Euphronius (d. 490) built a handsome church over his grave, connected with a monastery, which belonged to the Congregation of Sainte-Geneviève from 1656 until its suppression in 1791. Abbot Germanus later became Bishop of Paris, where he dedicated a chapel to the saint. St. Symphorian is the patron saint of Autun. his veneration spread at an early date through the empire of the Franks. His cult was especially popular at Tours; St. Gregory relates a miracle wrought by the saint.

Acta SS., August, IV, 530-35, 491; Ruinart, Acta Martyrum; Dinet, Saint Symphorien et son culte (2 vols., Autun, 1861); Duchesne, Fastes Épiscopaux, I, 52.

GABRIEL MEIER