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For a large part of the liturgical year, we devote ourselves to listening to the mystery of Christ in all its aspects unfolded as we seek God's truth and understanding.
Titus, Bishop, First Century
Titus was a Greek and a close friend of St. Paul who apparently converted him to Christianity. In Titus 1:4, St. Paul called Titus “my true child in our common faith.” Our knowledge of him comes from the letters of Paul to Titus and to the Corinthians. Titus accompanied St. Paul on his third missionary journey and acted as Paul’s secretary at the council in Jerusalem.
Titus served as a mediator for Paul on several missions. Paul sent Titus to Corinth to correct errors and smooth out dissension which had arisen there. He was received by the Corinthians with great respect, and interceded with Paul on their behalf. Titus returned to Corinth a second time at Paul’s direction to collect alms for the poor.
After preaching in Crete, Paul moved on, consecrating Titus and leaving him to serve as the first bishop. Paul’s letter to Titus, similar to his first letter to Timothy, gives Titus advice on how to conduct his mission. In it, Paul summarizes the major qualities which a bishop should have. A bishop, he tells Titus, is God’s steward and, as such, must be blameless and have a firm grasp of the Word so that he can preach with sound doctrine and refute those who dispute that doctrine. But in this letter, Paul also tells Titus that he is sending a substitute and wants Titus to visit him in Nicopolis. Titus visited Paul and then returned to Crete where he probably died at an advanced age.
We celebrate the Memorial to St. Titus, together with that of St. Timothy, another disciple of St. Paul.
Titus’ message today: In his letter to Titus, Paul mentioned many qualities which a bishop should possess. All good Christians should also possess many of these qualities: hospitality, a love of goodness, and prudence, among other things.