Timothy and Maura were a young couple who had been married for only twenty days. They suffered during the reign of Diocletian (284-305). Timothy was captured first and charged with being a Christian, which he confirmed. It was discovered that he was a reader in the church, which means, among other things, he was responsible for the safekeeping of the Christian books and scripture. Possessing such materials was a crime punishable by death.
When he refused to deny his faith and reveal the location of the sacred writings, he was then tortured so severely that even the torturers and the people watching asked the governor to ease up a bit. The governor refused and only sat around devising even more cruel ways to torture brave Timothy.
At some point, they realized he had a wife to whom he had only been married twenty days. They brought her, Maura, before him in hopes that it would diminish his resolve and he would agree to their demands so he could live a quiet, “normal” life with his wife. She was scared at first, but he encouraged her to be brave.
When the torturers realized their plot failed, they began to torture Maura quite cruelly too, including pulling out all of her hair and severing all of her fingers. God, through His miraculous grace, sustained this young couple so that they endured the gruesome tortures with supernatural grace.
In the end, they were hung upon two crosses facing one another. For nine days they spoke to one another, encouraging each other in the face of their torture. On the tenth day their spirits left their bodies and went to be with Christ in Paradise.
A HYMN TO SAINTS TIMOTHY AND MAURA
by St. Nikolai
Timothy and Maura, crucified and pale,
Through the Lord Christ, looked at one another,
And by the spirit see each other better than with the eyes,
By pain exalted, above all things.
And Timothy speaks: Maura, my sister,
You are of a female nature, and your pain is greater!
By prayer be encouraged, do not despair sister,
All of your thoughts, affix to Christ.
Maura replied: Brother Timothy,
The Spirit of God I feel, in my soul it waves
He keeps me strong, and helpless, He strengthens me,
And the Sweet Jesus, my pains alleviates,
But, about you, my glorious pride, I am concerned,
What kind of pains, with yours can be similar?
But just a little while, a little while, my sweet brother,
From the thorns of sufferings, then the roses will blossom,
To the entire heavenly host, the darling you will be,
Only endure, endure without sound and sobbing
Let us be alert brother, let us not fall asleep,
Perhaps the Lord might come, that we not be ashamed.
Behold, the entire heavens opened, I see
Unseen treasures for us prepared.
Then Timothy to Maura: O sister, wonderful,
Bride of Christ, glorious martyr,
For His glorious mercy, let us glorify God,
That such an honorable death, He permitted upon us.
O glory to You O Savior, Who for us suffered;
Our spirit, we now commend into Your hands.