Memorial of Saint Timothy and Saint Titus, bishops
(II Timothy 1:1-8; Mark 3:22-30)
St. Paul worked incessantly for the gospel. But he also counted on assistance of collaborators. The saints whom the Church commemorates today helped Paul as both companions and ambassadors. St. Timothy accompanied Paul the second time the apostle set forth from Antioch to evangelize. Paul sent him to Thessalonica where Christian converts were being persecuted. Paul wrote Timothy two letters intimating a father-son relationship although their authenticity is questioned. It is said that Timothy was martyred in Ephesus.
Titus too traveled with and for Paul. He was sent to Corinth to find out how Paul’s letter to the community there was received. Later Paul ordained Titus as bishop of Crete. Titus serves as an example of Paul’s regard for Judaism. Because he was not born a Jew, Paul did not want him circumcised since that would imply need of the law for salvation. It is said that Titus died of natural causes at an old age.
These two saints mostly magnify the greatness of Paul. No doubt for that reason they are celebrated the day after the feast of Paul’s conversion. They also show us that humble service of a great cause is itself worthy of praise.