Timothy, martyr Saint and Patron of Termoli, together with St. Basso, was a disciple of the Apostle St. Paul. The life of St. Timothy is described in the same sources that narrate the life of St. Paul. Its relics, together with the relics of St. Basso, are housed in the Cathedral of Termoli and there is no doubt about their authenticity.
For more than seven centuries, the Church of Termoli honors St. Timothy and venerates the relic of the skull preserved in the bishop’s palace. He is still a little-known Saint, although he has been cited many times in the New Testament, especially in the Acts of the Apostles and in the Epistles of Paul, who also addressed to him, according to tradition, two letters. Paul remained attached to Timothy for the rest of his life, considering him as a person capable of representing him in delicate circumstances of the life of some young Christian communities (Thessaloniki, Macedonia, Corinth) to correct errors and suppress controversy, teaching them the effectiveness of divine inspiration. From about 35-40 years old, he was also bishop of Ephesus, the most populous capital of the Roman province of Asia on the western coast of Turkey, where he died martyr because he was opposed to the vulgarities and disadvantages of some pagan cults; for this reason it is often represented with the palm of victory received from God.
On May 11, 1945, a small burial recess was found during the works in the crypt of the Cathedral of Termoli. The burial recess, covered by a marble tombstone, was placed near the right apse of the church. On the lower side of the commemorative plaque there was the following Latin inscription: “In the name of Christ. Amen. In the year of the Lord 1239. Here rest in peace the body of the blessed Timothy disciple of the blessed Apostle, hidden by the venerable Bishop Stephen together with the Chapter of Termoli”. Studies and research recognized the relics of St. Timothy as authentic. In honor of the Saint was also erected a church located in the center which has the main entrance on Corso Fratelli Brigida. The church of St. Timothy was made up by the Bishop Oddo Bernacchia in 1954. It has a neogothic structure with a single nave and it was built on the design of engineer Ugo Sciarretta. The church was one of the first churches built in reinforced concrete without central columns, for this it is cited also in the history books of art. The central location of the church in the city has suggest to the inhabitants and to visitors the possibility of spiritual comfort every time. In fact, during the summer time the church remains open until 24.00 to give the opportunity to visit the exhibition about Timothy.
The celebration in honor of St. Timothy takes place on May 11. In 2017, in order to highlight the closeness between the diocese of Termoli-Larino and the orthodox religion that Timothy venerated, there was also an orthodox celebration. Like all the years, the event ended with the procession along the streets of the city and the joint participation of orthodox bishops who arrived in Termoli specifically for the celebration.