Saints Timothy and Titus, Bishops

Timothy was born at Lystra, in the province of Pisidia (modern Turkey). He was the son of a Greek father and his mother, Eunice, was a convert from Judaism. When Paul preached at Lystra during his first missionary journey in the area, Timothy joined him and replaced Barnabas, with whom Paul had some differences over Barnabas’ cousin,  John Mark.

Timothy soon became a close friend, confidant and partner of Paul in his missionary apostolate. In order to placate the Jewish Christians, Paul agreed to Timothy being circumcised. This was because Timothy’s mother had been Jewish and, for the Jews, it was the religion of the mother which was decisive. Timothy then accompanied Paul on his second missionary journey (Acts 16:1-18:22).

When Paul was forced to flee Berea, in northern Greece, because of the hostility of the local Jews, Timothy stayed on (Acts 17:13), but soon after he was sent to nearby Thessalonica to report on the condition of the Christians there, and to encourage them under persecution. This report led to Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians when he joined Timothy at Corinth in southern Greece.

In 58 AD, Timothy was sent with Erastus north to Macedonia, but then went south to Corinth to remind the Corinthians of Paul’s teaching. He then accompanied Paul into Macedonia and Achaia. They were probably together when Paul was imprisoned at Caesarea and later in Rome. He was himself also imprisoned, but then freed.

According to tradition, Timothy went to Ephesus in western Turkey, became its first bishop, and was stoned to death there when he opposed the pagan festival of Katagogian in honour of the goddess Diana.

There are two letters reputedly written by Paul to Timothy, one written about 65 AD from Macedonia and the second from Rome, while Paul was in prison awaiting execution. Commentators today doubt (on the basis of style and content) that Paul could have written these letters. Nevertheless, they do reflect his teaching.

Titus was a disciple and companion of Paul, and one of Paul’s letters is addressed to him. Again, modern commentators doubt if Paul was really the writer, as it was common in those days for writings to carry the name of a well-known person as the author.

In the letter, Paul refers to Titus as “my true child in the faith we share”. Although not mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, Titus is mentioned in the Letter to the Galatians (2:1-3), where Paul writes of going to Jerusalem with Barnabas and Titus.

Titus was then sent off to Corinth in southern Greece, where he successfully restored harmony between that Christian community and Paul, its founder, who had some differences with them. Titus was later left on the island of Crete to help organize the Church there, although he soon went to Dalmatia, in Croatia.

According to Eusebius of Caesarea in the Ecclesiastical History, Titus served as the first Bishop of Crete. He was buried in Cortyna (Gortyna), Crete. His head was later transferred to Venice at the time of the Saracen invasion of Crete in year 832 and enshrined there in St. Mark’s Church.

Comments Off on Saints Timothy and Titus, Bishops

Printed from LivingSpace - part of Sacred Space
Copyright © 2024 Sacred Space :: :: All rights reserved.