Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The memorial of two great bishops from the Bible: Timothy and Titus

Ordinary Time: January 26th

Memorial of Sts. Timothy and Titus, bishops

O God, who adorned Saints Timothy and Titus with apostolic virtues, grant through the intercession of them both, that, living justly and devoutly in this present age, we may merit to reach our heavenly homeland. 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.
St. Timothy, born in Galatia in Asia Minor, was baptized and later ordained to the priesthood by St. Paul. The young Galatian became Paul's missionary companion and his most beloved spiritual son. St. Paul showed his trust in this disciple by consecrating him bishop of the great city of Ephesus. St. Timothy was stoned to death thirty years after St. Paul's martyrdom for having denounced the worship of the goddess Diana. According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite St. Timothy's feast is celebrated on January 24 and St. Titus on February 6.
St. Titus, a convert from paganism, was a fellow laborer of St. Paul on many apostolic missions. St. Paul later made him bishop of Crete, a difficult charge because of the character of the inhabitants and the spread of erroneous doctrines on that island. St. Paul's writings tell us that St. Titus rejoiced to discover what was good in others and drew the hearts of men by his wide and affectionate sympathy.
According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Polycarp, which is now celebrated in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite on February 23.

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.

  • No one understood the heart of St. Paul better than St. Timothy. His finest legacy is the two epistles he wrote to Timothy. Today would be an opportune occasion to study these epistles and to apply personally the high ideals proposed.
  • Look up the descriptions St. Paul gives of his traveling companion, Tim: 1, Cor. 4:17, Phil. 2:19-20, Rom. 16:21, and 2 Tim. 1:4-5.
  • Pray that the Church may be blessed with bishops, priests, and deacons, endowed with all those qualifications St. Paul requires from the dispensers of the mysteries of God. Say the following invocation frequently: "Jesus, Savior of the world, sanctify Thy priests and sacred ministers."

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

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