Titus was an early Christian leader, a companion of Saint Paul, mentioned in several of the Pauline epistles. Titus was with Paul and Barnabas at Antioch and accompanied them to the Council of Jerusalem, although his name occurs nowhere in the Acts of the Apostles.
He appears to have been a Gentile – for Paul sternly refused to have him circumcised, because Paul believed Christ's gospel freed believers from the requirements of the 613 Mitzvot — and to have been chiefly engaged in ministering to Gentiles. At a later period, Paul's epistles place him with Paul and Saint Timothy at Ephesus, whence he was sent by Paul to Corinth, Greece for the purpose of getting the contributions of the church there on behalf of the poor Christians at Jerusalem sent forward. He rejoined Paul when he was in Macedon, and cheered him with the tidings he brought from Corinth. After this his name is not mentioned until after Paul's first imprisonment, when he was engaged in the organization of the church in Crete, where Paul had left him for this purpose. The last notice of him is in 2 Timothy 4:10, where he leaves Paul in Rome in order to travel to Dalmatia. The New Testament does not record his death.
According to tradition, Paul ordained Titus bishop of Gortyn in Crete. He died in the year 107, aged about 95.
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. 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. The fact that Paul made a point of circumcising Timothy (Acts 16:3) but refused to circumcise Titus (Gal. 2:3) indicates that they are different people.
The feast day of Titus was not included in the Tridentine Calendar. When added in 1854, it was assigned to 6 February. In 1969, the Roman Catholic Church assigned the feast to 26 January so as to celebrate the two disciples of Paul, Titus and Timothy, on the day after the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. 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 left pemur and nostril, are venerated in the Church of St. Titus, Heraklion, Crete to which it was returned in 1966 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. According to the Department of Defense, the "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."
Famous quotes containing the word saint:
“The worst of madmen is a saint run mad.”
—Alexander Pope (16881744)