January 26, 2016

January 26: Memorial of St. Timothy and St. Titus

Saint Timothy was born in Galatia in Asia Minor, [present day Turkey] the son of a Greek father and a Jewish mother. He was later baptized and ordained to the priesthood by Saint Paul, his mentor and advisor. Timothy replaced Barnabas as Paul's missionary companion and in time became his most beloved spiritual son. He accompanied Paul on numerous missionary journeys and according to tradition was the bishop of Ephesus. St. Timothy was stoned to death for denouncing the worship of the goddess Diana during the festival of Katagogian in the year 96.

Saint Titus was a convert from paganism who worked with St. Paul on many apostolic missions. He served as bishop of Crete, a challenging ministry because of the nature of the inhabitants and the spread of erroneous doctrines there. St. Paul's writings show that St. Titus rejoiced in seeing the good in others and inspired great admiration for his compassionate teaching and affectionate sympathy.

The Life of St. Timothy

Timothy was Paul's dearest disciple, his most steadfast associate. He was converted during the apostle's first missionary journey. When Paul revisited Lystra, Timothy, though still very young (about twenty) joined him as a co-worker and companion. Thereafter, there existed between them a most intimate bond, as between father and son. St. Paul calls him his beloved child, devoted to him "like a son to his father" (Phil. 2:22). Of a kindly disposition, unselfish, prudent, zealous, he was a great consolation to Paul, particularly in the sufferings of his later years. He also assisted the apostle in the establishment of all the major Christian communities and was entrusted with missions of highest importance. Timothy was with Paul during his first Roman imprisonment. Paul made his self-sacrificing companion bishop of Ephesus, but the finest monument left him by his master are the two canonical Epistles bearing his name.

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Patron: Intestinal disorders; stomach diseases.

Symbols: Club and stones; broken image of Diana.

Life of St. Titus

St. Titus, a pagan by birth, became one of St. Paul's most illustrious disciples. He accompanied the apostle on several of his missionary journeys and was entrusted with important missions. Finally he came with St. Paul to the island of Crete, where he was appointed bishop. He performed this duty in accordance with the admonition given him, ". . . in all things show yourself an example of good works" (Tit. 2:7).

Tradition tells us that he died a natural death at the age of 94, having lived in the state of virginity during his whole life. St. Paul left a worthy monument to Titus, his faithful disciple, in the beautiful pastoral letter which forms part of the New Testament. Today's feast in his honor was introduced in 1854.

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Patron: Crete.

Symbols: Broken images; ruined temple of Jupiter.

Prayer for the Intercession of Saints Timothy and Titus

God our Father,
You gave Your saints Timothy and Titus
the courage and wisdom of the apostles:
may their prayers help us to live holy lives
and lead us to heaven, our true home.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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