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Saints Timothy and Titus, Bishops
Image: The Martyrdom of Saint Timothy | Anonymous (Byzantine Empire)
Saints Timothy and Titus
Saint of the Day for January 26
(d. c. 95)
Saints Timothy and Titus’ Story
What we know from the New Testament of Timothy’s life makes it sound like that of a modern harried bishop. He had the honor of being a fellow apostle with Paul, both sharing the privilege of preaching the gospel and suffering for it.
Timothy had a Greek father and a Jewish mother named Eunice. Being the product of a “mixed” marriage, he was considered illegitimate by the Jews. It was his grandmother, Lois, who first became Christian. Timothy was a convert of Paul around the year 47 and later joined him in his apostolic work. He was with Paul at the founding of the Church in Corinth. During the 15 years he worked with Paul, he became one of his most faithful and trusted friends. He was sent on difficult missions by Paul—often in the face of great disturbance in local churches which Paul had founded.
Timothy was with Paul in Rome during the latter’s house arrest. At some period Timothy himself was in prison (Hebrews 13:23). Paul installed him as his representative at the Church of Ephesus.
Timothy was comparatively young for the work he was doing. Several references seem to indicate that he was timid. And one of Paul’s most frequently quoted lines was addressed to him: “Stop drinking only water, but have a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent illnesses” (1 Timothy 5:23).
Titus has the distinction of being a close friend and disciple of Paul as well as a fellow missionary. He was Greek, apparently from Antioch. Even though Titus was a Gentile, Paul would not let him be forced to undergo circumcision at Jerusalem. Titus is seen as a peacemaker, administrator, great friend. Paul’s second letter to Corinth affords an insight into the depth of his friendship with Titus, and the great fellowship they had in preaching the gospel.
When Paul was having trouble with the community at Corinth, Titus was the bearer of Paul’s severe letter and was successful in smoothing things out. Paul writes he was strengthened not only by the arrival of Titus but also “by the encouragement with which he was encouraged in regard to you, as he told us of your yearning, your lament, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced even more…. And his heart goes out to you all the more, as he remembers the obedience of all of you, when you received him with fear and trembling” (2 Corinthians 7:7a, 15).
The Letter to Titus addresses him as the administrator of the Christian community on the island of Crete, charged with organizing it, correcting abuses, and appointing presbyter-bishops.
In Titus we get another glimpse of life in the early Church: great zeal in the apostolate, great communion in Christ, great friendship. Yet always there is the problem of human nature and the unglamorous details of daily life: the need for charity and patience in “quarrels with others, fears within myself,” as Paul says. Through it all, the love of Christ sustained them. At the end of the Letter to Titus, Paul says that when the temporary substitute comes, “hurry to me.”
Saints Timothy and Titus are the Patron Saints of:
Church remembers St. Paul’s companions, Sts. Timothy and Titus (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
[Saints] Timothy and Titus
Saint Timothy and Saint Titus
Timothy and Titus: They Teach Us to Serve the Gospel With Generosity
Information: St. Timothy
Feast Day: January 26
Died: 80, Ephesus
Patron of: intestinal disorders, stomach diseases
Information: St. Titus
Feast Day: January 26
Died: 96 at Goryna, Crete
Patron of: Crete
Friday, January 26
Liturgical Color: White
Today the Church honors St.
Margaret of Hungary. Her parents
placed her in a convent at the age of
3 and she became a nun at age 12.
She lived a life of extreme penance
and fasting to the detriment of her
health. She died in 1270, when only
Ordinary Time: January 26th
Memorial of Sts. Timothy and Titus, bishops
January 26, 2018 (Readings on USCCB website)
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.
Old Calendar: St. Polycarp, bishop and martyr; Bl. José Gabriel Brochero (new)
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 St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite St. Timothy’s feast is celebrated on January 24 and the feast of St. Titus is 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 St. John XXIII, today is the feast of St. Polycarp, which is now celebrated in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite on February 23.
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.
Things to Do:
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, 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
Symbols: Broken images; ruined temple of Jupiter.
Things to Do:
St. Paul left a worthy monument to Titus, his faithful disciple, in his letter. Read this letter.
Even though St. Timothy and Titus were disciples, bake some apostle cookies and adapt them for this feast.
Bl. José Gabriel Brochero
Blessed José Gabriel is known in Argentina as the “cowboy priest.” This gaucho, as local cattle-herders are known, served a large parish spread over miles of mountainous terrain.
Bl. José showed bravery in his first years as a priest by ministering to victims of a cholera epidemic in the city of Cordoba, Argentina. At 29 he was assigned to St. Albert, a remote parish numbering about ten thousand souls with neither schools nor roads. Padre José went on the back of a mule along the mountains to care for his flock, carrying a Mass kit and an image of the Blessed Mother. His flock was, in a sense, “lost,” so remote were they from the larger society. Father José said of his people that “they were abandoned by everyone, but not by God.” Early in his tenure, he desired spiritual renewal for his parish and so he led a group across mountains in a snowstorm to a retreat being held at Cordoba on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. This beginning in prayer produced much fruit in the parish.
His priestly ministry drew him to the people, to “go out,” as Jesus and his apostles went out to where the people were to be found. This “going out” involved risk: the danger of terrain, long days far from home, and the unexpected. Pope Francis has especially encouraged priests and generally all Christians to get out on the roads and into the public squares as a necessary first step in evangelization, in sharing Christ.
Blessed José Gabriel was not unknown to the public for his incarnational way of ministering. He worked alongside his people. A Cordoba newspaper wrote about this priest’s way of serving in an 1887 article:
“He practices the gospel. Are you missing a carpenter? He’s a carpenter. Are you missing a laborer? He’s a laborer. He rolls up his cassock wherever he is, takes the shovel or hoe and opens a public road in 15 days aided by his parishioners.”
In these tasks Bl. José found a space of communion in labor with his parishioners and a solid imitation of his patron, St. Joseph. He worked to build roads, schools, and to get mail and telegraph couriers for the good of the people. In his letter to those gathered for the beatification ceremony, Pope Francis said: “This shepherd who smelled of sheep became poor among the poor.”
Bl. José Gabriel was born in 1840, the same year of birth as St. Damien of Molokai. Like Damien, José Gabriel served those who were considered untouchable, the lepers, and like Damien he died a leper. He continued to pray and offer Mass although ill and blind. His “going out” was a complete emptying of self. Pope Francis wrote: “Brochero did not stay in the parish offices: he would exhaust himself riding his mule and he ended up being sick with leprosy.” Bl. José Gabriel died January 26, 1914.
The beatification ceremony at Cordoba was attended by close to 150,000 people, including three thousand gauchos wearing the traditional ponchos of the Argentine cowboy. This priest was a lone ranger when he had to be and, like his Divine Master, was brave, courageous, and bold.
Excerpted from Dominican Friars | Province of St. Joseph
Things to Do:
Meditation: Mark 4:26-34
Saints Timothy and Titus, Bishops (Memorial)
The seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. (Mark 4:27)
Imagine how patient and trusting a farmer has to be. He prepares his field and plants his seeds. Day after day, he watches, even though nothing seems to happen. But one morning is different: the field has a faint green haze. The seeds have sprouted, and the crop is growing.
It’s not a bad image for what bishops and parish priests do. To the best of their abilities, they plant good seeds and trust God to take care of the rest. We see this principle in action in our readings as we celebrate Sts. Timothy and Titus today.
First, we see it in the way Paul related to both of these men. They were his coworkers and spiritual sons. They traveled with him, and he sent them to lead newly established churches: Timothy in Ephesus and Titus in Crete. Paul knew that Timothy might face challenges like idolatry and false doctrine in Ephesus. He knew that Titus might confront pastoral difficulties in Crete. But he also knew that he had sown the “good seed” of the gospel in the churches, and so he was confident that God would help them meet any challenge they faced. So he entrusted them with responsibility and went on with his mission.
Next, we see how Timothy and Titus took Paul’s advice on how to care for their churches. Over and over, Paul reminded them to do what he had done: plant good seed. Be clear on the gospel message and present it to their people as simply as possible. The fact that the churches in Ephesus and Crete continued to grow in spite of threats and difficulties attests to these men’s success.
We may not be pastors, but many of us have children or grandchildren or students or spiritual charges that we care about. We love them and want to see their relationship with God grow and blossom. We can learn from the example of the farmer in today’s parable—and from Paul and Timothy and Titus. Plant good seed and trust God. It can be as simple as taking your children to the Stations of the Cross during Lent or talking about the homily on your way home from Mass. Whatever you do, trust that God will help your whole family to grow and bear fruit.
“Lord, thank you for helping my children grow in faith!”
2 Timothy 1:1-8
Psalm 96:1-3, 7-8, 10
Marriage = One Man and One Woman Until Death Do Us Part
Daily Marriage Tip for January 26, 2018:
The internet and social media can enrich our lives, but they can also threaten your marriage. It’s not only pornography or finding old flames on Facebook, but also the time taken from interaction with your beloved. Agree on mutual limits to screen time.
January 26, 2018 – The Fruit of the Kingdom
Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, Bishops
He said, “This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.” He said, “To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.” With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it. Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I come into your presence with openness of heart. I know that you want to plant your seed in me and help it to bear fruit. I trust that you will pour out your mercy on me as I spend this time with you. I want to love you more and become a better instrument of your love.
Petition: Lord, help me contemplate the action of your grace upon the world and fully cooperate with you.
Steady Growth: Jesus reminds me that his grace is working in the world. His message carries an interior dynamism that affects souls and brings about change in them. I think of someone who has surprised me by a sudden conversion or steady growth in Christian living. I see many people who are working on projects of evangelization or are full of Christian charity. I see many other people who are trying in their secular occupations to do their part to make this world better. I contemplate the many families that are striving to be places of love in which each person is valued as a unique gift. This is the seed of the Gospel that grows silently without our knowing how.
When the Grain Is Ripe: God, in his mercy, often adds years to our life so that we can learn wisdom and produce in our actions fruit that is worthy of eternity. How much do I value the opportunities I have each day to do simple acts of charity or leave messages that have a beneficial effect on others? How often do I pray for others? Each day I should be attentive to the small and big opportunities the Lord gives me to help establish his kingdom more deeply in my soul and in the souls of others.
Disproportionate Strength: Like the image of the mustard tree in the parable, Christ’s grace sustains many men and women throughout the world. People discover in Christ’s friendship the true home their hearts seek and the communion with all men they intuitively desire. What a great gift we have in the Church! Let us try to make it a true home for all people. Let us partake deeply of its teachings and its grace and become more deeply a gift for others. The strength of love sustains us.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, thank you for the workings of your grace in so many souls. I want to be united with your grace throughout this day and throughout my life. Help me to use this day in such a way that I will be planting your love around me.
Resolution: Today I will take time to say a special prayer or make a special sacrifice for the conversion of sinners.
Homily of the DayJanuary 26, 2018
The parable of the growing seed is one of the many parables Jesus tells us about the Kingdom of God. A man scatters seed on the ground and, without having to do anything, the seed sprouts and grows. According to the parable the Kingdom of God is such: one need not do anything, yet, like the seed, it will grow and flourish.
There are many things we do not really understand in our lives. There are times we work so hard and yet gain so little; or times when we hardly do anything but experience great success; or sickness and sorrow, and death.
The Lord is powerful and his ways mysterious. In moments we do not understand, we are left to trust and have faith that he remains in control.
God is a God of surprises and in all his surprises only one thing remains true: that his purpose is that we feel his love and concern for each one of us. We need God and not the other way around.
The creation story tells us that God’s creation is self-sufficient. In the Sermon on the Mount we are reminded that the birds of the air and the flowers of the field are well cared for. And “are you not worth much more than birds?” (Mt 6:26) “Set your heart first on the kingdom of God and all these things will also be given to you. Do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself.” (Mt 6: 33- 34)
The Gospel reading tells us to trust that God has beautiful plans for each one of us. Are we patient enough to wait for it to unfold?
One Bread, One Body
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