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Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus

(1st c.)

St. Timothy was born in Galatia in Asia Minor, the son of a Greek father and a Jewish mother.  Timothy was a convert of St. Paul the Apostle around the year 47 A.D.  Timothy became a trusted friend and a beloved spiritual son to Paul, laboring faithfully alongside him in his apostolic work for many years.  Paul mentions Timothy repeatedly in his letters and dispatched him on important missionary work to the local churches he founded.  Timothy was ordained to the priesthood at the hands of St. Paul and was later made bishop of Ephesus.

Since the revision of the General Roman Calendar of 1969, the Church commemorates on the same day the holy Bishops Timothy and Titus, favourite disciples of Saint Paul and recipients of three ‘pastoral’ letters, so called because they instruct to the two pastors regarding the duties of those who lead a Christian community. The two letters to Timothy, as well as in the one to Titus, contain exhortations to defend sound doctrine from false teachers, and express the need to persevere in faith and in good works, until the glorious return of Jesus Christ, who will reward those who have lived by observing his Word.

St. Timothy was stoned to death thirty years after St. Paul’s martyrdom for having denounced the worship of the false goddess Diana.  St. Timothy is the patron of intestinal and stomach problems, because Paul admonished him to ease his penance and drink a little wine for the sake of his health, instead of only water.

Like Timothy, Titus is also called by Paul “true child of mine in the faith that we share.” (Tt 1: 4). The commonality of purpose and fraternal friendship between the two is also found in the Second Letter to the Corinthians, in which Paul reports that, on his arrival in Troad, “I had no peace in my spirit because I did not find Titus.” He later met him in Macedonia at a time of great distress; there, Titus comforted him with the news about the Christian community of Corinth: “he told us of your desire to see us, how sorry you were and how concerned for us; so that I was all the more joyful.”(cf. 2 Cor 7: 5-7). In the same epistle, there is talk of the Corinthians entrusting to Titus a collection destined for the poor.

Their shared feast day is January 26.

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Do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.”

2 Timothy 1:8
Constantinople, The Martyrdom of Saint Timothy, 1025-50
Constantinople, The Martyrdom of Saint Timothy, 1025-50. On the left a single man with a cudgel represents the Ephesian mob that attacked St. Timothy with cudgels and stones. Behind them is Mount Pion, where the saint finally expired from his wounds and was buried. On the right is the translation of his body to Constantinople. Manuscript illumination: Ink, paint, and gold on parchment. Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland

May grace, mercy, and peace be with us from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.”

cf. 2 Timothy 1:2
Stoning of Saint Timothy, Bishop of Ephesus (Johann Wolfgang Baumgartner)
Stoning of Saint Timothy, Bishop of Ephesus (Johann Wolfgang Baumgartner)

Follow the saints because those who follow them will become saints.”

Saint Clement I, pope

Saint Timothy and Titus, Bishop Martyrs, pray for us.

Be not afraid!  And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.  Holy Family pray for us.  Amen.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

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