Saint Titus

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Titus
Saint Titus (Kosovo, 14th c. Pech Patriarch., S. Nicholas church).jpg
Bishop and Martyr
Born1st century AD
Died96 or 107 AD
Gortyn, Crete
Venerated in Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Catholic Churches
Lutheranism
Anglican Communion
Canonized Pre-Congregation
Major shrine Heraklion, Crete
Feast August 25 (Eastern Orthodox Liturgical Calendar)
January 26 (General Roman Calendar)
Patronage Crete

Titus ( /ˈttəs/ TY-təs; Greek : Τίτος) was an early Christian missionary and church leader, a companion and disciple of Paul the Apostle, mentioned in several of the Pauline epistles including the Epistle to Titus. He is believed to be a Gentile converted to Christianity by Paul and, according to tradition, he was consecrated as Bishop of the Island of Crete. [1]

Greek language Language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

Paul the Apostle Early Christian apostle and missionary

Paul the Apostle, commonly known as Saint Paul and also known by his Jewish name Saul of Tarsus, was an apostle who taught the gospel of Christ to the first-century world. Paul is generally considered one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age and in the mid-30s to the mid-50s AD he founded several churches in Asia Minor and Europe. He took advantage of his status as both a Jew and a Roman citizen to minister to both Jewish and Roman audiences.

Contents

Titus brought a fundraising letter from Paul to Corinth, to collect for the poor in Jerusalem. Later, on Crete, Titus appointed presbyter s (elders) in every city and remained there into his old age, dying in Gortyna, near the city of Candia (modern Heraklion). [1]

Corinth ancient city in Greece

Corinth is an ancient city and former municipality in Corinthia, Peloponnese, which is located in south-central Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality of Corinth, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit. It is the capital of Corinthia.

In the New Testament, a presbyter is a leader of a local Christian congregation. The word derives from the Greek presbyteros, which means elder or senior. The Greek word episkopos literally means overseer; it refers exclusively to the office of bishop. Many understand presbyteros to refer to the bishop functioning as overseer. In modern Catholic and Orthodox usage, presbyter is distinct from bishop and synonymous with priest. In predominant Protestant usage, presbyter does not refer to a member of a distinctive priesthood called priests, but rather to a minister, pastor, or elder.

Gortyna Ancient human settlement in Crete, Greece

Gortyna, or Gortyn (Γορτύν), was a town of ancient Crete which appears in the Homeric poems, under the form of Γορτύν; but afterwards became usually Gortyna (Γόρτυνα). According to Stephanus of Byzantium it was originally called Larissa (Λάρισσα) and Cremnia or Kremnia (Κρήμνια).

Life

Titus was a Greek, apparently from Antioch, [2] who is said to have studied Greek philosophy and poetry in his early years. [3] He seems to have been converted by Paul, whereupon he served as Paul's secretary and interpreter. In the year 49, Titus accompanied Paul to the council held at Jerusalem, on the subject of the Mosaic rites. Although Paul had consented to the circumcision of Timothy, in order to render his ministry acceptable among the Jews, he would not allow the same in regard to Titus, so as not to seem in agreement with those who would require it for Gentile converts. [4]

Antioch ancient city in Turkey

Antioch on the Orontes was an ancient Greek city on the eastern side of the Orontes River. Its ruins lie near the modern city of Antakya, Turkey, and lends the modern city its name.

Moses Abrahamic prophet said to have led the Israelites out of Egypt

Moses was a prophet according to the teachings of the Abrahamic religions. Scholarly consensus sees Moses as a legendary figure and not a historical person, while retaining the possibility that a Moses-like figure existed.

Saint Timothy Early Christian evangelist and bishop from Roman Anatolia

Timothy was an early Christian evangelist and the first Christian bishop of Ephesus, who tradition relates died around the year AD 97.

Towards the close of the year 56, Paul, as he himself departed from Asia, sent Titus from Ephesus to Corinth, with full commission to remedy the fallout precipitated by Timothy's delivery of 1 Corinthians [5] and Paul's "Painful Visit", [6] particularly a significant personal offense and challenge to Paul's authority by one unnamed individual. [7] During this journey, Titus served as the courier for what is commonly known as the "Severe Letter", a Pauline missive that has been lost but is referred to in 2 Corinthians. [8]

Ephesus Ancient city in Anatolia

Ephesus was an ancient Greek city on the coast of Ionia, three kilometres southwest of present-day Selçuk in İzmir Province, Turkey. It was built in the 10th century BC on the site of the former Arzawan capital by Attic and Ionian Greek colonists. During the Classical Greek era it was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League. The city flourished after it came under the control of the Roman Republic in 129 BC.

Ancient Corinth city-state in ancient Greece

Corinth was a city-state (polis) on the Isthmus of Corinth, the narrow stretch of land that joins the Peloponnese to the mainland of Greece, roughly halfway between Athens and Sparta. The modern city of Corinth is located approximately 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) northeast of the ancient ruins. Since 1896, systematic archaeological investigations of the Corinth Excavations by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens have revealed large parts of the ancient city, and recent excavations conducted by the Greek Ministry of Culture have brought to light important new facets of antiquity.

After success on this mission, Titus journeyed north and met Paul in Macedonia. There the apostle, overjoyed by Titus' success, [9] wrote 2 Corinthians. Titus then returned to Corinth with a larger entourage, carrying 2 Corinthians with him. Paul joined Titus in Corinth later. From Corinth, Paul then sent Titus to organize the collections of alms for the Christians at Jerusalem. Titus was therefore a troubleshooter, peacemaker, administrator, and missionary.

Macedonia (ancient kingdom) Ancient kingdom in the Balkans

Macedonia, also called Macedon, was an ancient kingdom on the periphery of Archaic and Classical Greece, and later the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece. The kingdom was founded and initially ruled by the royal Argead dynasty, which was followed by the Antipatrid and Antigonid dynasties. Home to the ancient Macedonians, the earliest kingdom was centered on the northeastern part of the Greek peninsula, and bordered by Epirus to the west, Paeonia to the north, Thrace to the east and Thessaly to the south.

Early church tradition holds that Paul, after his release from his first imprisonment in Rome, stopped at the island of Crete to preach. Due to the needs of other churches, requiring his presence elsewhere, he ordained his disciple Titus as bishop of that island, [10] and left him to finish the work he had started. Chrysostom says that this is an indication of the esteem St. Paul held for Titus. [4]

Paul summoned Titus from Crete to join him at Nicopolis in Epirus. [11] Later, Titus traveled to Dalmatia. [12] The New Testament does not record his death.

It has been argued that the name "Titus" in 2 Corinthians and Galatians is nothing more than an informal name used by Timothy, implied already by the fact that even though both are said to be long-term close companions of Paul, they never appear in common scenes. [13] The theory proposes that a number of passages—1 Cor. 4:17, 16.10; 2 Cor. 2:13, 7:6, 13–14, 12:18; and Acts 19.22—all refer to the same journey of a single individual, Titus-Timothy. 2 Timothy seems to dispute this, by claiming that Titus has gone to Dalmatia (2 Timothy 4:10). The fact that Paul made a point of circumcising Timothy (Acts 16:3) but refused to circumcise Titus (Galatians 2:3) would indicate that they are different men, although certain manuscripts of Galatians (Galatians 2:4) have been taken (by Marius Victorinus, [14] for example) to indicate that Paul did circumcise Titus.

Veneration

The feast day of Titus was not included in the Tridentine Calendar. When added in 1854, it was assigned to 6 February. [15] In 1969, the Catholic Church assigned the feast to 26 January so as to celebrate the two disciples of Paul, Titus and Timothy, the day after the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. [16] The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America celebrates these two, together with Silas, on the same date. The Orthodox Church commemorates him on 25 August and on 4 January.

His relics, now consisting of only his skull, are venerated in the Church of St. Titus, Heraklion, Crete, to which it was returned in 1966 [17] after being removed to Venice during the Turkish occupation.

St. Titus is the patron saint of the United States Army Chaplain Corps. The Corps has established the Order of Titus Award, described by the Department of Defense:

Order of Titus award is the only award presented by the Chief of Chaplains to recognize outstanding performance of ministry by chaplains and chaplain assistants. The Order of Titus is awarded for meritorious contributions to the unique and highly visible Unit Ministry Team Observer Controller Program. The award recognizes the great importance of realistic, doctrinally guided combat ministry training in ensuring the delivery of prevailing religious support to the American Soldier. [18]

Related Research Articles

Epistle to Titus book of the Bible

The Epistle of Paul to Titus, usually referred to simply as Titus, is one of the three Pastoral Epistles in the New Testament, historically attributed to Paul the Apostle. It is addressed to Saint Titus and describes the requirements and duties of elders and bishops.

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References

  1. 1 2 Smith, William. Smith’s Bible Dictionary 11th printing, November 1975. New Jersey: Fleming H. Revel Company. pp. 701–02.
  2. Foley O.F.M., Leonard. Saint of the Day, Lives, Lessons, and Feast, (revised by Pat McCloskey O.F.M.), Franciscan Media
  3. "Timothy and Titus", Catholic News Agency, January 26, 2015
  4. 1 2 Butler, Alban. The Lives of the Saints, Vol. I, (1866)
  5. 1 Corinthians 16:10–11
  6. 2 Corinthians 2:1
  7. 2 Corinthians 2:5–11
  8. 2 Corinthians 7:8
  9. 2 Corinthians 7:6–15
  10. Titus 1:5
  11. Titus 3:12
  12. Pope Benedict XVI. "Timothy and Titus", L'Osservatore Romano, p. 11, December 27, 2006
  13. Fellows, Richard G. "Was Titus Timothy?" Journal for the Study of the New Testament81 (2001):33–58.
  14. Cooper, Stephen. Marius Victorinus' Commentary on Galatians. Oxford University Press, 2005.
  15. Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 86
  16. Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 116
  17. The Orthodox Messenger, v. 8(7/8), July/Aug 1997
  18. "Titus Award". Retrieved 18 June 2017.