Saints Timothy and Titus

Saints Timothy and Titus

Saints Timothy and Titus, who were close friends of the apostle Paul and early Catholic Church bishops, are honored on January 26 in the Roman Catholic Church's liturgical remembrance. St. Paul sent letters to both men, which are found in the New Testament.

Timothy was born in Lystra, Turkey, the son of a non-Jewish father and a Jewish mother. It is known that Timothy's mother Eunice and grandmother Lois became members of the Church, and he is said to have studied Sacred Scripture since he was a young boy.

Around the year 51, following St. Paul's visit to Timothy's native Lycaonia, the young man accompanied the apostle on his travels. Timothy stayed behind to support the local church after Paul was forced to leave the city of Berea due to religious conflict. Later, Paul dispatched him to Thessalonica to support the Church at a time of persecution.

After their second meeting in Corinth, Timothy traveled to Macedonia on Paul's behalf. Timothy returned for a while due to issues in the Corinthian Church, but he later joined Paul and traveled with the apostle on more missions.

Timothy was imprisoned for a while while carrying out his missionary efforts, just like Paul. The New Testament Epistle to the Hebrews mentions his release.

Timothy was elected as the first bishop of the Church of Ephesus somewhere around the year 64. He got the first of the two remaining letters from St. Paul that year. The second, which was written the next year, exhorts Timothy to see St. Paul in Rome, the place where he was detained before his martyrdom.

According to historical accounts, St. Timothy died as a martyr for the religion, just like his mentor. He was slain by a mob in 93 for standing up against idolatry while serving as the head of the Church in Ephesus. The date of the pagan celebration he was opposing, January 22, has been commemorated in the Christian East as St. Timothy's Day.

While Timothy was raised in a mostly Jewish household and studied the Bible from an early age, St. Titus was raised in a pagan household and is reported to have studied Greek philosophy and poetry. However, he followed a life of virtue, and it is said that he started reading the Hebrew Scriptures after having a prophetic dream.

It is said that Titus traveled to Jerusalem at the time of the Lord's earthly mission and saw Christ preach. Only later, following St. Paul's conversion and the start of his ministry, did Titus receive baptism from the apostle, who addressed the pagan convert as his "true child in our common faith."

Not only was St. Paul Titus' spiritual father, but he also needed Titus to help and translate. Titus went to the Jerusalem Apostolic Council with Paul in 51 and was twice dispatched to the Corinthian Church after that. Following the conclusion of his initial detention in Rome, the apostle Paul consecrated Titus as the Bishop of Crete.

About 64, when Titus was getting ready to meet Paul in the Greek city of Nicopolis, Paul wrote the only letter that has survived, instructing his disciple in pastoral service. Before traveling back to Crete, Titus preached throughout the Dalmatian region of present-day Croatia.

Through his preaching and prayers, Titus is credited with leading the Church of Crete well into his 90s, dispelling pagan beliefs and advancing Christianity. In contrast to St. Timothy, St. Titus passed away quietly as he grew older.

Saints Timothy and Titus are the patron saints of relief from stomach disorders.

Other Saints of the Day
Saint Theofrid
Saint Ansurius
Saint Paula
Saint Robert of Newmister
Saint Alberic of Citeaux

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