vendredi 27 janvier 2012

Saint TIMOTHÉE d'ÉPHÈSE, évêque et martyr, et Saint TITE, évêque et confesseur


Saint Timothée était né en Lycaonie, dans la ville de Lystres, qui fut évangélisée par saint Paul. Le passage du grand Apôtre fut la cause de la conversion de Timothée et de sa famille. Plus tard, quand Paul revint à Lystres, il remarqua Timothée et résolut de se l'associer dans l'apostolat, malgré sa jeunesse. L'admirable jeune homme sacrifia avec joie toutes les espérances terrestres et consentit à quitter sa famille pour se donner entièrement à Dieu et supporter toutes les fatigues et toutes les persécutions de la vie apostolique.Dès lors on peut voir Timothée partout à côté de saint Paul, et à la confiance de l'un répond le dévouement de l'autre. Après la mort de saint Paul, Timothée, qui avait été préposé par son maître à l'Église d'Éphèse, eut la consolation d'y vivre en l'amitié et la présence du disciple bien-aimé de Jésus, l'Apôtre saint Jean.Un jour que les Éphésiens célébraient par des orgies une des fêtes de leur déesse Diane, le saint évêque d'Éphèse, indigné, se jette au milieu de ce peuple insensé, lui représente la folie de sa conduite et l'invite à se convertir au christianisme ; mais il est entouré par des furieux, accablé de coups de pierres et de massues et laissé pour mort. Ses disciples le relèvent et le transportent dans le voisinage, où il expire bientôt dans leurs bras et rejoint dans la gloire son maître saint Paul. L'Église honore en lui l'un des plus célèbres et des plus saints disciples des Apôtres.

Abbé L. Jaud, Vie des Saints pour tous les jours de l'année, Tours, Mame, 1950.

SOURCE : http://magnificat.ca/cal/fr/saints/saint_timothee.html

SAINT TIMOTHÉE (« celui qui honore Dieu »)

La plus ancienne mention de sa fête apparaît en Occident le 24 janvier vers la fin du XIIe siècle. Sa fête fut inscrite sous le rite simple au calendrier par St Pie V, puis ensuite élevée en degré sous Clément VIII (1602) et Pie IX (1854).

Leçons des Matines avant 1960

AU DEUXIÈME NOCTURNE.

Quatrième leçon. Timothée, né à Lystres en Lycaonie, d’un père Gentil et d’une mère Juive, pratiquait déjà la religion chrétienne lorsque l’Apôtre Paul vint en ce pays. Celui-ci, frappé de la grande réputation de sainteté de Timothée, le prit pour compagnon de ses voyages ; mais il le circoncit, à cause des Juifs convertis au Christ, qui savaient que le père de Timothée était Gentil. Étant arrivés tous deux à Éphèse, l’Apôtre l’ordonna Évêque, afin qu’il gouvernât cette Église.

Cinquième leçon. L’Apôtre lui écrivit deux Épîtres, l’une de Laodicée, l’autre de Rome ; dans ces lettres, il le confirme dans l’exercice de sa charge pastorale. Comme Timothée ne pouvait supporter qu’on offrît aux simulacres des démons le sacrifice qui n’est dû qu’au Dieu unique, un jour que le peuple d’Éphèse immolait des victimes à Diane, dont on célébrait la fête, il s’efforça de le détourner de cet acte impie, mais le saint Évêque fut lapidé ; les Chrétiens l’enlevèrent à demi mort et le portèrent sur une montagne proche de la ville, où il s’endormit dans le Seigneur, le neuf des calendes de février.



Dom Guéranger, l’Année Liturgique

La veille du jour où nous allons rendre grâces à Dieu pour la miraculeuse Conversion de l’Apôtre des Gentils, la marche du Cycle nous ramène la fête du plus cher disciple de cet homme sublime. Timothée, l’infatigable compagnon de Paul, cet ami à qui le grand Apôtre écrivit sa dernière lettre, peu de jours avant de verser son sang pour Jésus-Christ, vient attendre son maître au berceau de l’Emmanuel. Il y trouve déjà Jean le Bien-Aimé, avec lequel il a porté les sollicitudes de l’Église d’Éphèse ; il y salue Etienne et les autres Martyrs qui l’y ont devancé, et leur présente la palme qu’il a lui-même conquise. Enfin, il vient apporter à l’auguste Marie les hommages de la chrétienté d’Éphèse, chrétienté qu’elle a sanctifiée de sa présence, et qui partage, avec celle de Jérusalem, la gloire d’avoir possédé dans son sein celle qui n’était pas seulement, comme les Apôtres, le témoin, mais, en sa qualité de Mère de Dieu, l’ineffable instrument du salut des hommes.

L’Église Grecque célèbre saint Timothée dans ses Menées, auxquels nous empruntons les strophes suivantes :

Plein de la sagesse de Dieu, ô Timothée, tu es entré dans le torrent des délices, et tu t’es désaltéré dans la gnose divine ; tu as imité les fervents amis du Christ, et tu es entré plein de joie dans sa gloire, où tu contemples la très splendide Trinité et tu jouis de la paix la plus sereine.

Plein de la sagesse de Dieu, ô Timothée, les fréquentes faiblesses et infirmités de ton corps fortifiaient ton âme ; gardé par la puissance du Christ, tu as dissous avec facilité la puissance de l’erreur, et tu nous as prêché, d’une manière sublime, le très divin Évangile de la paix.

Le monde entier célèbre aujourd’hui tes prodiges, thaumaturge immortel ; car le Christ t’a récompensé par le don des miracles, toi qui as souffert pour lui les tourments ; pour la mort que tu as endurée, il t’a gratifié d’une gloire et d’une béatitude éternelles.

Homme de toute sainteté, la grâce a débordé avec abondance de tes lèvres ; elle en a fait couler des fleuves de doctrine, qui ont arrosé l’Église du Christ et porté des fruits au centuple, ô Timothée, prédicateur du Christ, Apôtre divin !

En mortifiant les membres de ta chair, tu les as soumis au Verbe ; en assujettissant la partie vile de toi-même à celle qui est la plus excellente, bienheureux Timothée, tu as dominé tes passions et allégé ton âme, établie dans une harmonie parfaite selon les enseignements de Paul.

Paul, éclatant comme un soleil, t’a lancé comme un de ses brillants rayons, pour illuminer la terre d’une abondante et splendide lumière, pour diriger et confirmer nos âmes, ô Timothée, qui manifestes Dieu !

Tu as paru comme un char divin, ô Timothée ! Portant le nom de Dieu devant les tyrans impies, sans craindre leur cruauté ; car tu as revêtu la force invincible du Sauveur, ô homme chéri de Dieu !

Tu as reçu la couronne de gloire, ô Timothée, plein de toute félicité ; Apôtre doué d’un esprit divin, tu as ceint dignement le diadème du royaume ; tu assistes devant le trône de ton maître, resplendissant avec Paul dans les tabernacles éternels, ô très heureux !

Nous honorons en vous, saint Pontife, un disciple des Apôtres, un des premiers anneaux qui nous rattachent au Christ ; vous nous apparaissez tout illuminé des entretiens du grand Paul. Son disciple, le divin Aréopagite, vous choisit pour le confident de ses sublimes contemplations sur les Noms Divins ; mais maintenant, inondé de la lumière éternelle, vous contemplez sans nuage le Soleil de justice. Soyez-nous propice, à nous qui ne pouvons que l’entrevoir à travers les voiles de son humilité ; obtenez-nous du moins de l’aimer, afin que nous puissions mériter de le voir un jour dans sa gloire. Pour alléger le poids de votre corps, vous soumettiez vos sens à une pénitence rigoureuse que Paul vous exhortait d’adoucir : aidez-nous à soumettre la chair à l’esprit. L’Église relit sans cesse les conseils que l’Apôtre vous donna, et en vous à tous les pasteurs, pour le choix et la conduite des membres du clergé ; donnez-nous des Evêques, des Prêtres et des Diacres ornés de toutes les qualités qu’il exige dans ces dispensateurs des Mystères de Dieu. Enfin, vous qui êtes monté au ciel avec l’auréole du martyre, tendez-nous votre palme, afin que, tout obscurs combattants que nous sommes, nous puissions nous élever jusqu’au séjour où l’Emmanuel reçoit et couronne ses élus pour l’éternité.



Bhx Cardinal Schuster, Liber Sacramentorum

C’est à bon droit que l’Église romaine a consacré ce jour à la mémoire de Timothée qui, avec Paul prisonnier de César, fut l’un des premiers prédicateurs de l’Évangile dans la Rome corrompue du parricide Néron. Son culte fut très répandu en Orient, surtout après que l’empereur Constance eut, en 356, fait transférer ses ossements à Constantinople. En Occident, bien que les Pères de l’Église aient souvent loué la sainteté et le zèle de Timothée, sa figure ne devint jamais vraiment populaire, et il faut, descendre jusqu’à Clément VIII pour que sa fête pénètre dans le Bréviaire romain avec le rite semi-double. Plus tard, en 1854, Pie IX l’éleva au rang de solennité de rite double. Dans les calendriers grecs, saint Timothée est fêté, avec le titre d’apôtre, le 22 janvier. Les Arméniens célèbrent notre saint le jeudi après le cinquième dimanche qui suit l’Exaltation de la sainte Croix, et ils lui associent les autres disciples de saint Paul, Tite, Archippus, Philémon, Sosipater, Jason et Onésime, dont leurs calendriers font aussi mémoire aux anniversaires respectifs de leur mort.

La messe est celle des martyrs-pontifes, que nous avons déjà transcrite le 16 janvier ; la première collecte est semblable à celle de la fête de saint Melchiade, le 10 décembre, mais la lecture est spéciale, étant tirée de l’épître que Paul enchaîné adressa à Timothée lui-même, l’animant à persévérer dans la lutte pour la foi, afin de garder intact le dépôt évangélique qui lui avait été confié (I, VI, 11-16).

L’Apôtre conjure son disciple Timothée de garder intact le dépôt de la foi et il le fait en alléguant plusieurs motifs, les uns subjectifs, les autres de valeur universelle et objective. II lui rappelle d’abord que moyennant la vocation à la grâce de la foi, il fut appelé à la gloire éternelle ; puis il évoque une circonstance de son initiation baptismale, c’est-à-dire la profession de foi que le candidat récitait en présence de l’assemblée, Mais le symbole de foi n’a pas une valeur purement subjective, aussi l’Apôtre passe à la seconde partie de son argumentation, invoquant ces mêmes articles de foi, — le Père qui vivifie tout, le Fils qui, sous Ponce-Pilate, scella de sa mort son Évangile, — pour engager de plus en plus Timothée à la prédication. En effet, le prédicateur évangélique participe à l’œuvre de Dieu, en appelant à la vie de la grâce les âmes des pécheurs ; et bien que le démon et le monde opposent mille obstacles à la diffusion de la divine semence, ce n’est pas une raison pour que l’Apôtre manque à sa mission ; il doit imiter au contraire l’exemple du Rédempteur, qui, pour notre amour, fit devant le sanhédrin et le tribunal de Pilate une solennelle déclaration de ces vérités qui, si elles nous valurent la vie, causèrent sa mort.

Après la Septuagésime, le psaume-trait est le vingtième : « V/. Vous avez satisfait le vœu de son cœur, et la prière de ses lèvres n’a pas été déçue, V/. Car vous l’avez prévenu des bénédictions de votre douceur, V/. Vous avez posé sur son front un diadème d’or très pur. » En ces trois versets est décrite toute l’économie de la grâce dans la prédestination des saints. D’abord la motion suave et efficace de la grâce divine les prévient. Puis la correspondance de ceux-ci, le vœu du cœur, la prière des lèvres. Et finalement, la glorification dans la vision béatifique.

La collecte après la communion est semblable à celle de la fête de saint Félix le 14 janvier.

La fête de saint Timothée, disciple de Paul, sert de préparation à celle de son maître ; c’est ainsi que sur la porte de métal qui clôt l’hypogée de la confession, dans la basilique patriarcale de Saint-Paul, sont représentés Tite et Timothée comme si maintenant encore ils ne pouvaient pas se séparer du grand Apôtre et montaient la garde à son sépulcre afin que personne ne vienne troubler le repos du Maître.

La même pensée de rapprocher Timothée de Paul fit anciennement ensevelir un martyr romain du nom de Timothée près du tombeau du Docteur des nations ut Paulo Apostolo, ut quondam Timotheus, adhaereret.



Dom Pius Parsch, le Guide dans l’année liturgique

Garde le commandement jusqu’à l’apparition de Notre Seigneur.

En général, l’Église célèbre les saints au jour de leur mort. Quand le jour de leur mort est inconnu, elle fixe le jour de leur fête à son gré, souvent en tenant compte du temps liturgique ou des relations avec des fêtes analogues. C’est aujourd’hui le cas. Demain, nous célébrons la fête de la conversion saint Paul. La fête de son disciple chéri, Timothée, en est comme le prélude.

Saint Timothée : Tombeau : dans l’église des Apôtres, à Constantinople. — Sa vie : Timothée est le disciple préféré et le compagnon constant de saint Paul. Il s’était sans doute converti au cours du premier voyage de mission de l’Apôtre. Quand, au cours de son second voyage, saint Paul repassa à Lystre, Timothée s’adjoignit à lui malgré sa grande jeunesse (environ 20 ans). A partir de ce moment, une amitié filiale l’unit à l’Apôtre. Saint Paul l’appelle son cher enfant qui lui est dévoué « comme un fils a son père » (Ph. II, 22). Timothée était affectueux, désintéressé, prudent et zélé, et personne n’avait une pareille communauté de sentiments avec son maître. Il fut, particulièrement pour l’Apôtre devenu vieux, une consolation dans ses souffrances et un soutien dans ses difficultés. Il fut son collaborateur dans toutes les fondations importantes d’Églises et c’est pourquoi l’Apôtre le chargea des missions les plus graves. Il partagea la première captivité de saint Paul. Saint Paul en fit le premier évêque d’Éphèse. Son maître lui-même lui a élevé le plus beau monument dans les deux Épîtres qu’il lui adressa.

La messe (Statuit). — La messe, à part l’Épître, est du commun d’un martyr pontife. Les chants célèbrent l’Évêque qui est une image du divin pontife et qui nous apparaît dans le prêtre célébrant. L’Évangile nous montre les chemins escarpés de l’imitation du Christ : « Haïr son père et sa mère... sa propre vie » c’est-à-dire en faire peu de cas, en face de la vocation du Christ ; « se charger de la Croix et suivre le Seigneur » c’est-à-dire accepter l’opprobre et le mépris. C’est par le mépris du monde et la haine de soi-même, en portant notre croix à la suite du Christ que nous construirons la tour du royaume de Dieu, dans notre âme, et que nous marcherons au combat victorieux contre le démon. — Nous le voyons, l’Église nous montre le chemin à suivre pour être martyrs, même sans verser notre sang.

Le testament de saint Paul. — Timothée, le disciple préféré de saint Paul, a compris, mieux que personne, l’esprit de son maître et l’a transmis à l’Église ainsi qu’à nous tous. Nous devons lui en être reconnaissants. Saint Paul a écrit à son disciple deux lettres qui sont comme un héritage qu’il lui laisse. Timothée garda assurément toujours ces lettres ; les exhortations de son maître ne cessaient de retentir à ses oreilles, il aura réglé sa vie d’après ces lettres. Aujourd’hui, jour de sa fête, nous devrions lire ces Épîtres et en faire la norme de notre vie. Mais qui prend seulement le temps de lire ces lettres, aujourd’hui ?

C’est pourquoi l’Église choisit, dans l’Épître, un passage de l’une de ces lettres et veut que nous le méditions, au cours de la journée, pour régler notre vie d’après les conseils qu’il contient. Appliquons-nous les paroles de saint Paul, comme si nous étions ses disciples préférés. Que nous disent-elles ? Tout d’abord, elles nous recommandent la pratique des vertus : la justice, la piété, la foi, la charité, la patience, la douceur ; nous devons combattre le bon combat de la vie et saisir des deux mains la vie éternelle. Et saint Paul nous rappelle les deux grands moments de notre vie, les limites de notre pèlerinage terrestre : le baptême et la mort. Au baptême, nous avons fait notre profession de foi, devant de nombreux témoins, c’est-à-dire à la face de l’Église entière et, depuis lors, nous devons être des « confesseurs et des martyrs » de cette foi.

Nous devons rendre active dans notre vie cette profession de foi ; à chaque Credo de la messe ou du bréviaire, nous devons songer aux engagements de notre baptême. Saint Paul nous rappelle le Roi de tous les confesseurs et de tous les martyrs, Jésus-Christ, qui a rendu devant Ponce-Pilate un beau témoignage. L’Église nous rappelle en outre saint Timothée qui, fidèle aux « exhortations » de son maître, a rendu « son bon témoignage » et l’a scellé de son sang.

Et cela nous amène à la seconde borne de notre vie : l’avènement du Christ dans la mort. C’est le but de notre vie et tous nos efforts doivent tendre à rester « sans tache et sans reproche » jusque-là La sainte Eucharistie unit ces deux points extrêmes, elle se rattache au baptême, elle nous donne force et grâce pour le « témoignage » et nous conduit jusqu’à l’avènement du Seigneur qui se réalise déjà mystiquement.

SAINT TIMOTHÉE

A Rome on célèbre la fête de saint Timothée, qui vint d'Antioche en cette ville du temps du pape Melchiade. Il fut reçu par le prêtre Sylvestre, qui devint dans la suite évêque de la ville, et qui le chargea de remplir les fonctions que les souverains pontifes eux-mêmes redoutaient alors d'exercer. Or, Sylvestre ne se faisait pas seulement un bonheur de lui donner l’hospitalité mais, ayant dépouillé toute crainte, il comblait d'éloges la conduite et la doctrine de Timothée qui, pendant un an et trois mois, enseigna la vérité de J.-C. Après avoir converti beaucoup de peuples, étant devenu digne du martyre, il fut pris par les païens et livré à Tarquin, préfet de la ville. Après avoir enduré des tourments cruels et une longue détention, il refusa de sacrifier aux idoles, et, comme un bon athlète de Dieu, il fut tourmenté et enfin décapité avec des assassins. Saint Sylvestre le porta la nuit dans sa maison et y fit venir le saint évêque, Melchiade, qui, avec tous les prêtres et les diacres; passa la nuit entière en actions de grâces et le mit au rang des martyrs. Alors une femme très chrétienne, nommée Théone, pria le saint pape de lui permettre d'élever, à ses frais, dans son jardin, un tombeau à côté de celui de l’apôtre saint Paul; pour y déposer le corps de saint Timothée. Tous les chrétiens jugèrent convenable que Timothée eût sa sépulture auprès de celle de saint Paul qui avait eu autrefois pour disciple un saint de ce nom.

* Il est question au 22 août, dans le Martyrologe romain, d'un Timothée qui souffrit à Rome sur la voie d'Oste ; en outre un ms. du Martyrologe d'Usuard cite, au 2 avril, un saint Timothée, martyr à Antioche.

La Légende dorée de Jacques de Voragine nouvellement traduite en français avec introduction, notices, notes et recherches sur les sources par l'abbé J.-B. M. Roze, chanoine honoraire de la Cathédrale d'Amiens, Édouard Rouveyre, éditeur, 76, rue de Seine, 76, Paris mdccccii


TIMOTHY was a convert of St. Paul. He was born at Lystra, in Asia Minor. His mother was a Jewess, but his father was a pagan; and though Timothy had read the Scriptures from his childhood, he had not been circumcised as a Jew. On the arrival of St. Paul at Lystra the youthful Timothy, with his mother and grandmother, eagerly embraced the faith. Seven years later, when the Apostle again visited the country, the boy had grown into manhood, while his good heart, his austerities, and zeal had won the esteem of all around him; and holy men were prophesying great things of the fervent youth. St. Paul at once saw his fitness for the work of an evangelist. Timothy was forthwith ordained, and from that time became the constant and much beloved fellow-worker of the apostle. In company with St. Paul he visited the cities of Asia Minor and Greece; at one time hastening in front as a trusted messenger, at another lingering behind to confirm in the faith some recently founded church. Finally, he was made the first Bishop of Ephesus; and the two Epistles which bear his name, the first written at Macedonia and the second from Rome, in which St. Paul from his prison gives vent to his longing desire to see his son, "if possible, once more before his death. St. Timothy himself, not many years after the death of St. Paul, won his martyr's crown at Ephesus. As a child Timothy delighted in reading sacred books, and to his last hour he would remember the parting words of his spiritual father, "Attende lectioni—Apply thyself to reading."

REFLECTION.—St. Paul, in writing to Timothy, a faithful and well-tried servant of God, and a bishop now getting on in years, addresses him as a child, and seems most anxious about his perseverance in faith and piety. The letters abound in minute personal instructions for this end. It is therefore remarkable what great stress the apostle lays on the avoiding of idle talk, and on the application of holy reading. These are his chief topics. Over and over he exhorts his son Timothy to "avoid tattlers and busy-bodies; to give no heed to novelties; to shun profane and vain babblings; but to hold the form of sound words; to he an example in word and conversation; to attend to reading, to exhortation, and to doctrine."

SOURCE : http://jesus-passion.com/Saint_Timothy_Bishop.htm



St. Timothy (d. 97)

What we know from the New Testament of Timothy’s life makes it sound like that of a modern harried bishop. He had the honor of being a fellow apostle with Paul, both sharing the privilege of preaching the gospel and suffering for it. Timothy had a Greek father and a Jewish mother named Eunice. Being the product of a “mixed” marriage, he was considered illegitimate by the Jews. It was his grandmother, Lois, who first became Christian. Timothy was a convert of Paul around the year 47 and later joined him in his apostolic work. He was with Paul at the founding of the Church in Corinth. During the 15 years he worked with Paul, he became one of his most faithful and trusted friends. He was sent on difficult missions by Paul—often in the face of great disturbance in local Churches which Paul had founded. Timothy was with Paul in Rome during the latter’s house arrest. At some period Timothy himself was in prison (Hebrews 13:23). Paul installed him as his representative at the Church of Ephesus. Timothy was comparatively young for the work he was doing. (“Let no one have contempt for your youth,” Paul writes in 1 Timothy 4:12a.) Several references seem to indicate that he was timid. And one of Paul’s most frequently quoted lines was addressed to him: “Stop drinking only water, but have a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent illnesses” (1 Timothy 5:23).

http://www.ucatholic.com/saints/saints-timothy-titus/


Rembrandt. Timothée enfant, 1648, huile sur toile, 40.5 × 31.7

Timothy BM (RM)
(also known as Timotheus)


Died 97; feast day was January 24; in the East it is January 22. Saint Timothy was born in Lystra, Lycaenia, the son of a Greek father and Eunice, a converted Jewish mother. Eunice, her mother Lois, and Timothy embraced Christianity during Paul's first visit (2 Timothy 1:5) to Lycaenia. When Saint Paul preached at Lystra seven years later, Timothy replaced Barnabas (Acts 16:1-4). The two became close friends, and Saint Paul would write of him affectionately as "the beloved son in faith."



Since Timothy was the son of a Jewish woman, Saint Paul permitted him to be circumcised to satisfy the Jews (Acts 16:3). He accompanied Saint Paul on his second missionary trip. When the opposition of the Jews compelled Saint Paul to leave Beroea, Timothy remained behind to baptize, organize, and confirm the new converts in the faith (Acts 17:10-14). He was then sent to Thessalonica to investigate the status of the Christians there and to shore up their faith in the face of persecution. His report was the basis for Saint Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians (generally thought to be the earliest New Testament writing).

In 58, Timothy and Erastus went to Corinth to reinforce Paul's teachings. Then they accompanied Saint Paul into Macedonia and Achaia. It is probable that Timothy was with Paul when he was imprisoned in Caesarea, and again in Rome, where he himself was imprisoned for a time, then freed. Tradition, recorded by Eusebius, has it that Timothy went to Ephesus, became its first bishop (some say consecrated by Paul), and was there stoned and clubbed to death after denouncing the pagan festival of Katagogia, a celebration that honored Dionysius (not Diana, as often stated).

Saint Paul directed two letters to Timothy: one from Macedonia about 65, and one while Paul was incarcerated in Rome, awaiting his own death. They directed Timothy to correct innovators and teachers of false doctrine and to appoint bishops and deacons. Timothy manifested such virtue and dedication that he merited great praise from Paul, such as that in 1 Corinthians 16:10.

Timothy's relics were allegedly translated to Constantinople in 356; cures at that shrine are mentioned by Saint Jerome and Saint John Chrysostom (Attwater, Benedictines, Butler, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, White).

In art, Saint Timothy is a bishop with a club and stone. Sometimes he is shown receiving the epistle from Saint Paul (Roeder) or being stoned to death (White).


He is invoked against weakness of the stomach because of Paul's words addressed to him in 1 Timothy 5:23: "have a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent illnesses" (Roeder).

SOURCE : http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/0126.shtml

St. Timothy, Bishop and Martyr

See Tillemont, T. 2. p. 142

ST. TIMOTHY, the beloved disciple of St. Paul, was of Lycaonia, and probably of the city of Lystra. His father was a Gentile, but his mother Eunice was a Jewess. She, with Lois his grandmother, embraced the Christian religion, and St. Paul commends their faith. Timothy had made the holy scriptures his study from his infancy. 1 When St. Paul preached in Lycaonia, in the year 51, the brethren of Iconium and Lystra gave him so advantageous a character of the young man, that the apostle, being deprived of St. Barnaby, took him for the companion of his labours, but first circumcised him at Lystra. For though the Jewish ceremonies ceased to be obligatory from the death of Christ, it was still lawful to use them (but not as precept or obligation) till about the time of the destruction of Jerusalem with the temple, that the synagogue might be buried with honour. Therefore St. Paul refused to circumcise Titus, born of Gentile parents, to assert the liberty of the gospel, and to condemn those who erroneously affirmed circumcision to be still of precept in the New Law. On the other side, he circumcised Timothy, born of a Jewess, by that condescension to render him the more acceptable to the Jews, and to make it appear that himself was no enemy to their law. St. Chrysostom 2 here admires the prudence, steadiness, and charity, of St. Paul; and we may add, the voluntary obedience of the disciple. St. Austin 3 extols his zeal and disinterestedness in immediately forsaking his country, his house, and his parents, to follow this apostle, to share in his poverty and sufferings. After he was circumcised, St. Paul, by the imposition of hands, committed to him the ministry of preaching, his rare virtue making ample amends for his want of age. From that time the apostle regarded him not only as his disciple and most dear son, but as his brother and the companion of his labours. 4 He calls him a man of God, 5 and tells the Philippians, that he found no one so truly united to him in heart and sentiments, as Timothy. 6 This esteem of the apostle is a sufficient testimony of the extraordinary merit of the disciple, whose vocation and entrance into the ministry was accompanied with prophecies in his behalf. 7

St. Paul travelled from Lystra over the rest of Asia, sailed into Macedon, and preached at Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berœa, in the year 52. Being compelled to quit this last city by the fury of the Jews, he left Timothy behind him, to confirm the new converts there. 8 On St. Paul’s arrival at Athens he sent for him, but being informed that the Christians of Thessalonica lay under a very heavy persecution for the faith, he soon after deputed him to go thither, to comfort and encourage them under it; and he returned to St. Paul, then at Corinth, to give him an account of his success in that commission. Upon this the apostle wrote his first epistle to the Thessalonians. From Corinth St. Paul went to Jerusalem, and thence to Ephesus, where he spent two years. Here he formed a resolution of returning into Greece, and sent Timothy and Erastus before him through Macedon, to apprize the faithful in those parts of his intention, and to prepare the alms intended to be sent the Christians of Jerusalem.

Timothy had a particular order to go afterwards to Corinth, to correct certain abuses, and to revive in the minds of the faithful there the doctrine which the apostle had taught them; who, writing soon after to the Corinthians, earnestly recommended this disciple to them. 9 St. Paul waited in Asia for his return, and then went with him into Macedon and Achaia. St. Timothy left him at Philippi, but rejoined him at Troas. The apostle on his return to Palestine was imprisoned, and after two years custody at Cæsarea, was sent to Rome. Timothy seems to have been with him all or most of this time, and is named by him in the titles of his epistles to Philemon, and to the Philippians and Thessalonians, in the years 61 and 62. St. Timothy himself suffered imprisonment for Christ, and gloriously confessed his name, in the presence of many witnesses; but was set at liberty. 10 He was ordained bishop by a prophecy, and a particular order of the Holy Ghost. 11 He received by this imposition of hands, not only the grace of the sacrament, and the authority to govern the church, but also the power of miracles, and the other exterior gifts of the Holy Ghost. St. Paul being returned from Rome into the East, in the year 64, left St. Timothy at Ephesus, to govern that church, to oppose false teachers, and to ordain priests, deacons, and even bishops. 12 For St. Chrysostom 13 and other fathers observe, that he committed to him the care of all the churches of Asia: and St. Timothy is always named the first bishop of Ephesus. 14

St. Paul wrote his first epistle to Timothy from Macedon, in 64; and his second, in 65, from Rome, while there in chains, to press him to come to Rome, that he might see him again before he died. It is an effusion of his heart, full of tenderness towards this his dearest son. In it he encourages him, endeavours to renew and stir up in his soul that spirit of intrepidity, and that fire of the Holy Ghost, with which he was filled at his ordination; gives him instructions concerning the heretics of that time, and adds a lively description of such as would afterwards arise. 15

We learn 16 that St. Timothy drank only water: but his austerities having prejudiced his health, on account of his weak stomach and frequent infirmities, St. Paul ordered him to use a little wine. The fathers observe that he only says a little even in that necessity, because the flesh is to be kept weak, that the spirit may be vigorous and strong. St. Timothy was then young: perhaps about forty. It is not improbable that he went to Rome to confer with his master. In the year 64 he was made by St. Paul bishop of Ephesus, before St. John arrived there, who resided also in that city as an apostle, and exercising a general inspection over all the churches of Asia. 17 St. Timothy is styled a martyr in the ancient martyrologies.

His acts, in some copies ascribed to the famous Polycrates, bishop of Ephesus, but which seem to have been written at Ephesus, in the fifth or sixth age, and abridged by Photius, relate, that under the emperor Nerva, in the year 97, St. John being still in the isle of Patmos, St. Timothy was slain with stones and clubs, by the heathens, whilst he was endeavouring to oppose their idolatrous ceremonies on one of their festivals called Catagogia, kept on the 22nd of January, on which the idolaters walked in troops, every one carrying in one hand an idol, and in the other a club. St. Paulinus, 18 Theodorus Lector, and Philostorgius, 19 informs us, that his relics were with great pomp translated to Constantinople in the year 356, in the reign of Constantius. St. Paulinus witnesses, that the least portion of them wrought many miracles wherever they were distributed. These precious remains, with those of St. Andrew and St. Luke, were deposited under the altar, in the church of the apostles in that city, where the devils, by their howlings, testified how much they felt their presence, says St. Jerom; 20 which St. Chrysostom also confirms. 21

Pious reading was the means by which St. Timothy, encouraged by the example and exhortations of his virtuous grandmother and mother, imbibed in his tender years, and nourished during the whole course of his life, the most fervent spirit of religion and all virtues; and his ardour for holy reading and meditation is commended by St. Paul, as the proof of his devotion and earnest desire of advancing in divine charity. When this saint was wholly taken up in the most laborious and holy functions of the apostolic ministry, that great apostle strongly recommends to him always to be assiduous in the same practice, 22 and in all exercises of devotion. A minister of the gospel who neglects regular exercises of retirement, especially self-examination, reading, meditation, and private devotion, forgets his first and most essential duty, the care he owes to his own soul. Neither can he hope to kindle the fire of charity in others, if he suffer it to be extinguished in his own breast. These exercises are also indispensably necessary in a certain degree, in all states and circumstances of life; nor is it possible for a Christian otherwise to maintain a spirit of true piety, which ought to animate the whole body of all his actions, and without which even spiritual functions want as it were their soul.

Note 1. 2 Tim. iii. 15. [back]

Note 2. Præf. in 1 Tim. [back]

Note 3. Serm. 177. n. 7. [back]

Note 4. 1 Thess. iii. 2. 1 Cor. iv. 17[back]

Note 5. 1 Tim. vi. 11. [back]

Note 6. Phil. ii. 20. [back]

Note 7. 1 Tim. i. 18. [back]

Note 8. Acts xviii. [back]

Note 9. 1 Cor. xvi. 10. [back]

Note 10. Heb. xiii. 23. [back]

Note 11. 1 Tim. iv. 14. [back]

Note 12. 1 Tim. 1. [back]

Note 13. Hom. 15. in 1 Tim. [back]

Note 14. Eus. l. 3. c. 4. Conc. T. 4. p. 699. [back]

Note 15. 2 Tim. iii. 1, 2. [back]

Note 16. 1 Tim. v. 23. [back]

Note 17. In the Apocalypse, which was written in the year 95, Christ threatens the bishop of Ephesus, because he was fallen from his first charity, and exhorts him to do penance and return to his first works. (Apoc. xi. 4.) Calmet says, this bishop could be no other than St. Timothy; Pererius, Cornelius à Lapide, Grotius, Alcazar, Bossuet, and other learned men agree in this point; also Tillemont, T. 2. p. 147. and Bollandus ad 24 Jan. p. 563 and 564. Nicholas à Lyra and Ribera cannot be persuaded that St. Timothy ever deserved so severe a censure, unless we understand it only of his flock. The others say, he might have fallen into some venial remissness in not reprehending the vices of others with sufficient vigour; which fault he repaired, upon this admonition, with such earnestness, as to have given occasion to his martyrdom, in 97. He was succeeded in the see of Ephesus by John I. who was consecrated by St. John Evangelist. (See Constitut. Apostol. l. 8. c. 46.) Onesimus was third bishop of Ephesus. See Le Quien, Oriens Chris. T. 1. p. 672. [back]

Note 18. Carm. 26. [back]

Note 19. L. 3. c. 2. [back]

Note 20. In Vigilant. c. 2. [back] Note 20. In Vigilant. c. 2. [back]

Note 21. Hom. 1. ad Pop. Antioch. [back]

Note 22. 1 Tim. iv. 7 and 13. [back]

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume I: January. The Lives of the Saints.  1866.

SOURCE : http://www.bartleby.com/210/1/241.html



Saints Timothée et Tite, évêques

Timothée et Tite furent, avec Luc, les fidèles collaborateurs de Saint Paul. Le premier, élevé par une mère juive, avait été baptisé par Paul, et il le suivit dans ses missions avant d'être établi par lui à la tête de l'Eglise d'Ephèse. Quant à Tite, Paul se l'adjoignit à Antioche dès le début de son apostolat. Il lui confia ensuite l'évangélisation de la Crète.

SOURCE : http://www.paroisse-saint-aygulf.fr/index.php/prieres-et-liturgie/saints-par-mois/icalrepeat.detail/2015/01/26/1835/-/saints-timothee-et-tite-eveques

Saints Timothée et Tite
Évêques
Saint Timothée et Saint Tite, compagnons de voyage et amis de Saint Paul, furent choisis par l’Apôtre pour gouverner, l’un l’Église d’Éphèse et l’autre l’Église de Crète. Autrefois, le premier était fêté le 24 Janvier et le second le 4 Janvier.

Timothée, né à Lystres d’un père païen, fut, avec sa mère (Eunice) et sa grand-mère (Loïs), Juives et croyantes, converti par Saint Paul qui, sur la recommandation des prophètes de la communauté de Lystres, le prit comme compagnon de voyage.
Saint Paul lui confia des missions près des communautés (Thessalonique, Macédoine, Corinthe) et l’utilisa comme secrétaire pour rédiger les Épîtres.

Après avoir partagé sa première captivité, il accompagna Saint Paul jusqu’à ce que celui-ci lui demandât de rester à Éphèse dont il fut le premier Évêque.
Le corps de Saint Timothée fut enterré près de celui de Saint Jean, à Éphèse, où il resta jusqu’à ce qu’on le transportât à Constantinople (356).

Tite né dans le paganisme, aurait été, selon une ancienne tradition, de parents nobles, de la race royale de Minos, roi de Crète.
Cette même tradition ajoute qu’il aurait fait de solides études en lettres profanes quand il aurait entendu une voix mystérieuse lui ordonnant de quitter son pays et de sauver son âme, ajoutant que la science profane des Grecs lui serait peu utile pour son Salut.
Il aurait attendu un an au bout duquel la même voix lui aurait dit de lire les Écritures des Hébreux.
Son oncle, proconsul de Crète, ayant appris la naissance du Messie d’Israël, l’aurait envoyé à Jérusalem où il aurait connu Le Seigneur qui l’aurait compté parmi ses soixante-douze disciples.
Témoin de la vie publique de Jésus, de sa Passion, de sa Résurrection et de son Ascension, il aurait été consacré par les Apôtres et adjoint à Saint Paul.

Plus probablement, on pense que Tite, né païen, fut converti par Saint Paul qui, quatorze ans plus tard, l’ayant rencontré à Antioche, l’emmène jusqu’à Jérusalem où il assiste au fameux « Concile » qui rejette la circoncision des païens.
A partir de ce moment là, il accompagne Saint Paul dans ses voyages et lui sert de messager, singulièrement vers les communautés de Corinthe et d’Éphèse.

Après la première captivité de Saint Paul, il aborda en Crète avec l’Apôtre qui l’y laissa jusqu’à ce qu’il l’envoie en Dalmatie.


Après le martyre de Saint Paul, Tite revint en Crète où, disent les byzantins, il mourut dans un âge très avancé (quatre-vingt-quatorze ans).
Le corps de Saint Tite resta dans la Cathédrale de Gortyne jusqu’à ce que la cité fût détruite par les Musulmans (823) ; on ne retrouva que la tête de Tite qui fut transportée à Venise où elle est vénérée à Saint Marc
SOURCE : http://levangileauquotidien.org/main.php?language=FR&module=saintfeast&localdate=20160126&id=14519&fd=0



BENOÎT XVI

AUDIENCE GÉNÉRALE

Mercredi 13 décembre 2006

Timothée et Tite, les plus proches collaborateurs de Paul

Chers frères et soeurs,

Après avoir longuement parlé du grand Apôtre Paul, nous prenons aujourd'hui en considération ses deux collaborateurs les plus proches: Timothée et Tite. C'est à eux que sont adressées trois Lettres traditionnellement attribuées à Paul, dont deux sont destinées à Timothée et une à Tite.

Timothée est un nom grec et signifie "qui honore Dieu". Alors que dans les Actes, Luc le mentionne six fois, dans ses Lettres, Paul fait référence à lui au moins à dix-sept reprises (on le trouve en plus une fois dans la Lettre aux Hébreux). On en déduit qu'il jouissait d'une grande considération aux yeux de Paul, même si Luc ne considère pas utile de nous raconter tout ce qui le concerne. En effet, l'Apôtre le chargea de missions importantes et vit en lui comme un alter ego, ainsi qu'il ressort du grand éloge qu'il en fait dans la Lettre aux Philippiens: "Je n'ai en effet personne d'autre (isópsychon) qui partage véritablement avec moi le souci de ce qui vous concerne" (2, 20).

Timothée était né à Lystres (environ 200 km au nord-ouest de Tarse) d'une mère juive et d'un père païen (cf. Ac 16, 1). Le fait que sa mère ait contracté un mariage mixte et n'ait pas fait circoncire son fils laisse penser que Timothée a grandi dans une famille qui n'était pas strictement observante, même s'il est dit qu'il connaissait l'Ecriture dès l'enfance (cf. 2 Tm 3, 15). Le nom de sa mère, Eunikè, est parvenu jusqu'à nous, ainsi que le nom de sa grand-mère, Loïs (cf. 2 Tm 1, 5). Lorsque Paul passa par Lystres au début du deuxième voyage missionnaire, il choisit Timothée comme compagnon, car "à Lystres et à Iconium, il était estimé des frères" (Ac 16, 2), mais il le fit circoncire "pour tenir compte des juifs de la région" (Ac 16, 3). Avec Paul et Silas, Timothée traverse l'Asie mineure jusqu'à Troas, d'où il passe en Macédoine. Nous sommes en outre informés qu'à Philippes, où Paul et Silas furent visés par l'accusation de troubler l'ordre public et furent emprisonnés pour s'être opposés à l'exploitation d'une jeune fille comme voyante de la part de plusieurs individus sans scrupules (cf. Ac 16, 16-40), Timothée fut épargné. Ensuite, lorsque Paul fut contraint de poursuivre jusqu'à Athènes, Timothée le rejoignit dans cette ville et, de là, il fut envoyé à la jeune Eglise de Thessalonique pour avoir de ses nouvelles et pour la confirmer dans la foi (cf. 1 Th 3, 1-2). Il retrouva ensuite l'Apôtre à Corinthe, lui apportant de bonnes nouvelles sur les Thessaloniciens et collaborant avec lui à l'évangélisation de cette ville (cf. 2 Co 1, 19).

Nous retrouvons Timothée à Ephèse au cours du troisième voyage missionnaire de Paul. C'est probablement de là que l'Apôtre écrivit à Philémon et aux Philippiens, et dans ces deux lettres, Timothée apparaît comme le co-expéditeur (cf. Phm 1; Ph 1, 1). D'Ephèse, Paul l'envoya en Macédoine avec un certain Eraste (cf. Ac 19, 22) et, ensuite, également à Corinthe, avec la tâche d'y apporter une lettre, dans laquelle il recommandait aux Corinthiens de lui faire bon accueil (cf. 1 Co 4, 17; 16, 10-11). Nous le retrouvons encore comme co-expéditeur de la deuxième Lettre aux Corinthiens, et quand, de Corinthe, Paul écrit la Lettre aux Romains, il y unit, avec ceux des autres, les saluts de Timothée (cf. Rm 16, 21). De Corinthe, le disciple repartit pour rejoindre Troas sur la rive asiatique de la Mer Egée et y attendre l'Apôtre qui se dirigeait vers Jérusalem, en conclusion de son troisième voyage missionnaire (cf. Ac 20, 4). A partir de ce moment, les sources antiques ne nous réservent plus qu'une brève référence à la biographie de Timothée, dans la Lettre aux Hébreux où on lit: "Sachez que notre frère Timothée est libéré. J'irai vous voir avec lui s'il vient assez vite" (13, 23). En conclusion, nous pouvons dire que la figure de Timothée est présentée comme celle d'un pasteur de grand relief. Selon l'Histoire ecclésiastique d'Eusèbe, écrite postérieurement, Timothée fut le premier Evêque d'Ephèse (cf. 3, 4). Plusieurs de ses reliques se trouvent depuis 1239 en Italie, dans la cathédrale de Termoli, dans le Molise, provenant de Constantinople.

Quant à la figure de Tite, dont le nom est d'origine latine, nous savons qu'il était grec de naissance, c'est-à-dire païen (cf. Gal 2, 3). Paul le conduisit avec lui à Jérusalem pour participer au Concile apostolique, dans lequel fut solennellement acceptée la prédication de l'Evangile aux païens, sans les contraintes de la loi mosaïque. Dans la Lettre qui lui est adressée, l'Apôtre fait son éloge, le définissant comme son "véritable enfant selon la foi qui nous est commune" (Tt 1, 4). Après le départ de Timothée de Corinthe, Paul y envoya Tite avec la tâche de reconduire cette communauté indocile à l'obéissance. Tite ramena la paix entre l'Eglise de Corinthe et l'Apôtre, qui écrivit à celle-ci en ces termes: "Pourtant, le Dieu qui réconforte les humbles nous a réconfortés par la venue de Tite, et non seulement par sa venue, mais par le réconfort qu'il avait trouvé chez vous: il nous a fait part de votre grand désir de nous revoir, de votre désolation, de votre amour ardent pour moi... En plus de ce réconfort, nous nous sommes réjouis encore bien davantage à voir la joie de Tite: son esprit a été pleinement tranquillisé par vous tous" (2 Co 7, 6-7.13). Tite fut ensuite envoyé encore une fois à Corinthe par Paul - qui le qualifie comme "mon compagnon et mon collaborateur" (2 Co 8, 23) - pour y organiser la conclusion des collectes en faveur des chrétiens de Jérusalem (cf. 2 Co 8, 6). Des nouvelles supplémentaires provenant des Lettres pastorales le qualifient d'Evêque de Crète (cf. Tt 1, 5), d'où sur l'invitation de Paul, il rejoint l'Apôtre à Nicopolis en Epire (cf. Tt 3, 12). Il se rendit ensuite également en Dalmatie (cf. 2 Tm 4, 10). Nous ne possédons pas d'autres informations sur les déplacements successifs de Tite et sur sa mort.

En conclusion, si nous considérons de manière unitaire les deux figures de Timothée et de Tite, nous nous rendons compte de plusieurs données très significatives. La plus importante est que Paul s'appuya sur des collaborateurs dans l'accomplissement de ses missions. Il reste certainement l'Apôtre par antonomase, fondateur et pasteur de nombreuses Eglises. Il apparaît toutefois évident qu'il ne faisait pas tout tout seul, mais qu'il s'appuyait sur des personnes de confiance qui partageaient ses peines et ses responsabilités. Une autre observation concerne la disponibilité de ces collaborateurs. Les sources concernant Timothée et Tite mettent bien en lumière leur promptitude à assumer des charges diverses, consistant souvent à représenter Paul également en des occasions difficiles. En un mot, ils nous enseignent à servir l'Evangile avec générosité, sachant que cela comporte également un service à l'Eglise elle-même. Recueillons enfin la recommandation que l'Apôtre Paul fait à Tite, dans la lettre qui lui est adressée: "Voilà une parole sûre, et je veux que tu t'en portes garant, afin que ceux qui ont mis leur foi en Dieu s'efforcent d'être au premier rang pour faire le bien" (Tt 3, 8). A travers notre engagement concret, nous devons et nous pouvons découvrir la vérité de ces paroles, et, précisément en ce temps de l'Avent, être nous aussi riches de bonnes oeuvres et ouvrir ainsi les portes du monde au Christ, notre Sauveur.

* * *

Je suis heureux de vous accueillir, chers pèlerins francophones. Je salue particulièrement les jeunes de Treillières et les pèlerins de La Réunion. Que le temps de l'Avent vous permette de préparer vos cœurs à la venue du Sauveur, pour en témoigner généreusement parmi vos frères !

© Copyright 2006 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

SOURCE : http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/audiences/2006/documents/hf_ben-xvi_aud_20061213_fr.html


Saint TITE naquit de parents idolâtres et dut sa conversion à saint Paul. La sainteté, le zèle, la vie admirable de celui que le grand Apôtre appelait son fils et qu'il appela bientôt son frère fit qu'il l'associa à son ministère ; il le choisit comme son interprète auprès des Grecs.Il n'est rien de touchant comme les expressions pleines de tendresse et d'affection dont il se sert chaque fois que dans ses lettres il parle de son disciple. Étant venu à Troade pour les intérêts de l'Évangile, il nous dit qu'il n'eut point l'esprit en repos parce qu'il n'y trouva pas ce frère aimé. Ailleurs il s'exprime en ces termes : "Celui qui console les humbles, Dieu, nous a consolé par l'arrivée de Tite."Nous voyons aussi Tite accompagner son maître à Jérusalem et assister avec lui au premier Concile. C'est alors que les Juifs convertis voulurent le forcer à se faire circoncire et qu'il réclama, en refusant avec énergie, la liberté de l'Évangile pour lui et les gentils. Des divisions et des scandales s'élevèrent dans l'Église de Corinthe ; pour les faire cesser, saint Paul envoya son fidèle disciple qui l'avait suivi à Éphèse. Tite fut accueilli avec respect et vénération par l'Église de Corinthe, il remit tout dans l'ordre, et, après avoir fait un bien immense à la chrétienté, il vint rejoindre saint Paul en Macédoine et lui rendre compte de sa mission et de ses heureux résultats. Le maître, heureux et content, renvoya, quelques temps après, le disciple à Corinthe porter les aumônes qu'il avait recueillies lors de son premier voyage et pour préparer les esprits des fidèles à recevoir quelques Macédoniens que saint Paul se proposait de leur mener lui-même.Six années durant, Tite accompagna saint Paul dans ses voyages, prêchant l'Évangile avec lui et déployant un zèle infatigable pour gagner des âmes à Jésus-Christ. Quand, après sa sortie de prison, en 63, saint Paul eut évangélisé l'île de Crète, il y laissa Tite pour continuer son œuvre. En 64, saint Paul, qui ne pouvait se passer de Tite et qui avait besoin de lui pour l'édification des Églises nouvellement fondées, lui écrivit, dans le courant de l'automne, la lettre que nous avons à son adresse ; il lui mandait de partir aussitôt que seraient arrivés ceux qu'il envoyait pour le remplacer et de venir le rejoindre à Nicopolis en Épire, où il devait passer l'hiver.Nous le retrouvons en 65, prêchant l'Évangile aux Dalmates. Après la mort de saint Paul il retourna en Crète, gouverna sagement cette Église et évangélisa toutes les îles voisines. Plein de mérites et de jours, il s'endormit dans le Seigneur, à l'âge de quatre-vingt-quatorze ans.

P. Giry, Vie des Saints,

http://www.forumreligioncatholique.com/t7473-saint-thimothee-et-saint-tite-commentaire-du-jour-timothee-et-tite-deux-collaborateurs-de-paul

Comme la divin Semeur dont nous parle l’Évangile de la Sexagésime, saint Tite, disciple bien-aimé de saint Paul, « endura les fatigues de nombreux et lointains voyages sur terre et sur mer pour aller jeter la semence de la divine parole chez des nations répandues en diverses contrées et parlant différentes langues ».

Aussi l’Église nous déclare-t-elle que « Dieu l’avait orné des vertus d’un apôtre » et qu’il fut l’un « des ouvriers que le Maître de la moisson envoya pour faire la moisson ».

Employé par saint Paul dans des circonstances importantes, il aborda avec lui en Crête et fut désigné par l’Apôtre comme Évêque de cette île. C’est là qu’il reçut de son maître une lettre insérée dans le Nouveau Testament et dont nous trouvons des extraits à l’Épître de certaines Messes.

Aujourd’hui nous y lisons, comme l’avait déjà dit le Christ, que l’Évêque est un « intendant de Dieu » et que « Jésus est le Sauveur qui S’est donné afin de nous racheter ».
Saint Tite mourut à l’âge de 94 ans, vers l’an 105, et son nom est comblé de louanges par saint Jean Chrysostôme et par saint Jérôme.
Saint Tite était descendant de la race royale de Crète. Dans sa jeunesse, il se livra avec ardeur à l’étude de la littérature grecque. Vers l’âge de vingt ans, il entendit une voix intérieure qui lui dit de penser à son âme et de quitter la lecture des auteurs grecs pour celle des livres des Hébreux. Il ouvrit donc Isaïe et tomba sur le premier chapitre, qui expose l’inanité du monde païen et en prédit la chute prochaine.
Sur ces entrefaites, le proconsul de Crète, oncle de saint Tite, en présence du bruit que faisait la divine mission de Jésus-Christ dans la Judée, désira avoir des renseignements certains à ce sujet ; il y envoya son neveu, le chargeant de tout examiner de très près et par lui-même et de rapporter ce qu’il aurait vu et entendu.
Saint Tite, arrivé à destination, n’eut pas plus tôt vu Notre-Seigneur, qu’il crut en Lui, Lui offrit ses adorations et devint l’un de Ses soixante-douze Disciples. Après la Passion, la Résurrection du Sauveur et la descente du Saint-Esprit, il fut consacré Évêque et envoyé, comme apôtre, avec saint Paul.
Il accompagna le grand Apôtre des Gentils, dans la plupart de ses courses évangéliques. Ils vinrent tous deux dans l’île de Crète qu’ils convertirent. Saint Tite fut institué Archevêque de Crète et de toutes les îles adjacentes. Quand il eut organisé cette Église, il redevint le collaborateur de saint Paul qui lui confia le soin d’évangéliser la Dalmatie.
L’an 51 de Jésus-Christ, saint Tite suivit saint Paul à Jérusalem, et assista avec lui au Concile que tinrent les Apôtres. Vers l’an 56, saint Paul l’envoya d’Éphèse à Corinthe, pour éteindre les discordes qui avaient éclaté parmi les Chrétiens de cette ville ; il remplit cette mission avec le plus grand succès.
Saint Paul étant retourné en Orient, saint Tite revint dans l’île de Crète, où il gouverna son florissant diocèse. Dans l’automne de l’an 64, saint Paul écrivit à Tite, son fils bien-aimé, une lettre admirable, où il lui enseigne la manière de paître son troupeau, clergé et fidèles.
Dexter, dans sa Chronique, assure que saint Tite est venu évangéliser l’Espagne, et qu’il y opéra de grands prodiges dont le souvenir existait encore au quatrième siècle. D’après le même auteur, Pline le Jeune fut converti à la Foi, dans l’île de Crète, par saint Tite.

SOURCE : http://www.cassicia.com/FR/Vie-de-saint-Tite-Fete-le-6-fevrier-L-un-des-72-Disciples-du-Christ-archeveque-de-Crete-compagnon-d-apostolat-de-saint-Paul-Il-convertit-Pline-le-Jeune-No_653.htm



Leçons des Matines avant 1960

Au deuxième nocturne.

Quatrième leçon. Tite, Évêque de Crète, à peine initié aux mystères de la foi chrétienne et aux sacrements, par les enseignements de l’Apôtre saint Paul, répandit une telle lumière de sainteté sur l’Église alors encore au berceau, qu’il mérita d’être admis parmi les disciples du Docteur des Gentils. Appelé à partager le fardeau de la prédication, son ardeur à publier l’Évangile et sa fidélité le rendirent tellement cher à saint Paul que celui-ci, venu à Troade pour l’Évangile du Christ, déclare qu’il n’eut point de repos en son esprit, parce qu’il n’y avait pas trouvé Tite, son frère. Et peu après, s’étant rendu en Macédoine, il exprime encore son affection pour ce disciple par ces paroles : « Celui qui console les humbles, Dieu nous a consolés par l’arrivée de Tite. »

Cinquième leçon. Envoyé à Corinthe par l’Apôtre, Tite s’acquitta avec tant de sagesse et de douceur de cette mission, qui consistait principalement à recueillir les aumônes offertes par la piété des fidèles pour soulager la pauvreté de l’Église des Hébreux, que non seulement il maintint les fidèles de Corinthe dans la foi du Christ, mais qu’il excita en eux des désirs accompagnés de larmes, et du zèle pour Paul, qui les avait d’abord instruits. Après avoir enduré les fatigues de nombreux et lointains voyages sur terre et sur mer pour aller jeter la semence de la divine parole chez des nations répandues en diverses contrées et parlant différentes langues, après beaucoup de soucis et d’épreuves qu’il supporta avec une grande fermeté d’âme pour le triomphe de la Croix, il aborda à l’île de Crète avec Paul, son maître. Choisi par l’Apôtre comme Évêque de cette Église, il se conduisit certainement dans cette charge de manière à se montrer lui-même, selon le conseil de Paul, qui l’avait instruit, « un modèle de bonnes œuvres, dans la doctrine, dans l’intégrité, dans la gravité. »

Sixième leçon. Tite, semblable à un flambeau, répandit donc les clartés de la religion sur ceux qui étaient assis comme à l’ombre de la mort, dans les ténèbres de l’idolâtrie et du mensonge. On rapporte qu’au prix de grandes peines vaillamment surmontées, il déploya l’étendard de la Croix chez les Dalmates. Enfin, plein de jours et de mérites, âgé de plus de quatre-vingt-quatorze ans, il s’endormit dans le Seigneur de la mort précieuse des justes, la veille des nones de janvier ; il fut enseveli dans l’Église où l’Apôtre l’avait établi Prêtre. Son nom, comblé de louanges par saint Jean Chrysostome et par saint Jérôme, se lit en ce même jour au Martyrologe romain ; le souverain Pontife Pie IX a ordonné que sa fête soit célébrée par l’Église universelle. [1]

[1] Fin de la leçon avant la fixation de la date de la fête au 6 février : mais en établissant sa fête pour être célébrée avec Office et Messe dans tout le monde catholique, par le clergé séculier et régulier, le souverain Pontife Pie IX lui a assigné le premier jour libre après l’anniversaire de la mort du Saint



Dom Guéranger, l’Année Liturgique

Un saint Évêque de l’âge apostolique, un disciple du grand Paul, s’offre aujourd’hui à notre vénération [2]. Ses actions nous sont peu connues ; mais en lui adressant une de ses Lettres inspirées, le Docteur des Gentils l’a rendu immortel. Partout où la foi du Christ a été et sera portée, Tite, ainsi que Timothée, sera connu des fidèles ; jusqu’à la fin des temps, la sainte Église consultera, avec un souverain respect, cette Épître adressée à un simple évêque de l’île de Crète, mais dictée par l’Esprit-Saint, et par là même destinée à faire partie du corps des Écritures sacrées qui contiennent la pure Parole de Dieu. Les conseils et les directions que renferme cette admirable lettre, furent la règle souveraine du saint Évêque à qui Paul avait voué une si affectueuse tendresse. Tite eut la gloire d’établir le Christianisme dans cette île fameuse où le paganisme avait un de ses principaux centres. Il survécut à son maître immolé dans Rome par le glaive de Néron ; et comme saint Jean, à Éphèse, il s’endormit paisiblement dans une heureuse vieillesse, entouré des respects de la chrétienté qu’il avait fondée. Sa vie a laissé peu de traces ; mais les quelques traits qui nous restent à son sujet donnent l’idée d’un de ces hommes de vertu supérieure que Dieu choisit au commencement, pour en faire les premières assises de son Église.

Heureux disciple du grand Paul, la sainte Église a voulu qu’un jour dans l’année fût employé à célébrer vos vertus et à implorer votre suffrage ; soyez propice aux fidèles qui glorifient le divin Esprit pour les dons qu’il a répandus en vous. Vous avez rempli avec zèle et constance la charge pastorale ; tous les traits que Paul énumère dans l’Épître qu’il vous a adressée comme devant former le caractère de l’Évêque, se sont trouvés réunis en votre personne ; et vous brillez sur la couronne du Christ, le Prince des Pasteurs, comme l’un de ses plus riches diamants. Souvenez-vous de l’Église de la terre dont vous avez soutenu les premiers pas. Depuis le jour où vous lui fûtes ravi, dix-huit siècles ont achevé leur cours. Souvent ses jours ont été mauvais ; mais elle a triomphé de tous les obstacles, et elle chemine dans la voie, recueillant les âmes et les dirigeant vers son céleste Époux, jusqu’à l’heure où il viendra arrêter le temps, et ouvrir les portes de l’éternité. Tant que cette heure n’a pas sonné, nous comptons, ô Tite, sur votre puissant suffrage ; du haut du ciel, sauvez les âmes par votre intercession, comme vous les sauviez ici-bas au moyen de vos saintes fatigues. Demandez pour nous à Jésus des Pasteurs qui vous soient semblables. Relevez la Croix dans cette île que vous aviez conquise à la vraie foi, et sur laquelle s’étendent aujourd’hui les ombres de l’infidélité et les ravages du schisme ; que par vous la chrétienté d’Orient se ranime, et qu’elle aspire enfin à l’unité, qui, seule, peut la préserver d’une dissolution complète. Exaucez, ô Tite, les vœux du Pontife qui a voulu que votre culte s’étendît à l’univers entier, afin d’accélérer par votre suffrage les jours de paix et de miséricorde que le monde attend.

[2] « La fête de saint Tite que nous insérons ici est plus ou moins différée, selon les lieux, par la liberté qu’a laissée le Saint-Siège de la placer au premier jour qui ne se trouve pas occupé par une autre fête. Dans la plupart des Églises, elle n’est célébrée qu’en février. » : depuis ce commentaire de Dom Guéranger, la fête de Saint Tite fut fixée le 6 février lors de la réforme de saint Pie X.



Bhx Cardinal Schuster, Liber Sacramentorum

Cette fête ne date que de 1854 et elle fut instituée par Pie IX. D’autre part, les saints Pères, spécialement les Grecs, ont magnifié la sainteté et le zèle de ce disciple de prédilection de l’Apôtre des Gentils, et les Byzantins célèbrent sa mémoire le 25 août sous le titre d’Apôtre : ‘Mémoire du saint Apôtre Tite’. Sa basilique dans l’île de Crète remonte au moins au VIe siècle.

La messe est tout entière du Commun des confesseurs pontifes, sauf l’Évangile et la première collecte inspirée d’un passage de la lettre de saint Paul à saint Tite. Sans doute la lecture qui se trouve dans le Missel pour le jour de saint Luc, le 18 octobre, eût été plus appropriée à cette fête que celle du Commun, empruntée à l’Ancien Testament, car l’Apôtre y fait aux Corinthiens [3] de grands éloges de Tite, lequel, dans sa sollicitude pastorale, s’était volontairement assujetti au labeur de remettre la paix dans cette Église, toujours agitée par les partis. Il semble que le saint disciple de Paul ait eu un don particulier pour cette mission de paix, car précédemment il était allé dans la même ville et avait rendu le calme à ces esprits turbulents. Saint Paul, durant l’absence de Tite, était vivement préoccupé du mauvais pli que prenaient les choses à Corinthe ; quand le disciple revint vers lui avec l’heureuse nouvelle du repentir des dissidents, qui reconnaissaient à nouveau son autorité d’Apôtre, il put écrire une phrase qui révèle toute l’affection et la reconnaissance qui, de ce fait, le liaient à Tite : sed qui consolatur humiles, consolatus est nos Deus in adventu Titi [4].

Prière. « O Dieu qui avez orné des vertus apostoliques le bienheureux Tite, votre confesseur et pontife, accordez-nous par ses mérites et par son intercession que, vivant en ce siècle selon la justice et la piété, nous méritions ensuite d’arriver à la céleste patrie. Par notre Seigneur, etc. »

L’Évangile est celui où est narrée la première mission des soixante-douze disciples qui furent les prémices des missionnaires (Luc., X, 1-9). La charge de la prédication évangélique est si divine que personne ne peut y prétendre de soi-même, mais il faut qu’on y soit élu et envoyé par Dieu même. Comme l’Apôtre ne parle pas en son propre nom, mais fait fonction d’ambassadeur du Christ, ainsi ne doit-il chercher ni son intérêt ni sa gloire, mais celle de Dieu et le salut des âmes.

Relevons une belle phrase de saint Paul, là où, dans la seconde épître aux Corinthiens, il parle de Tite, de Luc et de leurs autres compagnons ; il les appelle : Apostoli Ecclesiarum, gloria Christi. Oui, à la vérité, le Rédempteur ne se complaît en aucune chose comme dans le zèle pour le salut des âmes, si bien qu’il n’y a pas d’état plus sublime que l’apostolat, par lequel on participe à la mission elle-même du Sauveur dans la rédemption" du monde. C’était précisément cette vocation et cette parfaite correspondance à la grâce de la part de Tite qui le rendaient si cher au cœur embrasé et généreux de l’Apôtre. Paul le poussait bien à agir, mais Tite était encore sollicitior, comme il l’écrit justement aux Corinthiens ; en sorte que, quand le Docteur des Nations alla à Troas, il écrivit : ... propter Evangelium Christi, et ostium mihi apertum esset in Domino, non habui requiem spiritui meo, eo quod non invenerim Titum fratrem meum [5].

[3] II, VII, 16 seq.

[4] IICor., VII, 6.

[5] II Cor., II, 12-13.



Dom Pius Parsch, le Guide dans l’année liturgique

Que nous vivions avec justice et piété dans ce monde.

Saint Tite. — Jour de mort (d’après le martyrologe) : 4 janvier, vers 100 ap. J.-C. Tombeau : dans sa ville épiscopale de Gortina, en Crète ; son chef est à Venise. Sa vie. Saint Tite est un des plus intimes disciples de saint Paul. Il était païen de naissance. Il accompagna son maître dans ses voyages apostoliques et reçut de lui d’importantes missions à remplir. Enfin, il accompagna saint Paul dans l’île de Crète où l’Apôtre le laissa comme évêque de l’île. Il s’acquitta de ses fonctions selon le conseil de son maître « en se montrant lui-même un modèle de bonnes œuvres ». D’après la tradition, il garda la virginité jusqu’à sa mort. Il serait mort à 94 ans, de mort naturelle. Saint Paul a élevé à son disciple un digne monument, dans la magnifique Épître pastorale qu’il lui a envoyée, l’Épître à Tite. Sa fête n’est célébrée que depuis 1854.

L’Épître à Tite. — Il serait tout à fait conforme à l’esprit de l’Église que, les jours où nous célébrons la fête d’un saint, nous lisions quelques pages de ce saint ou au sujet de ce saint et même, si possible, des écrits de son époque. Cela nous permet d’entrer dans l’esprit de ce saint et de vivre de cet esprit. Nous avons déjà donné quelques exemples, au cours des semaines passées, en parlant de la vie de saint Antoine par saint Athanase, des Actes authentiques du martyre de saint Polycarpe, des lettres de saint Ignace. Aujourd’hui et les jours suivants, nous pourrons lire et méditer l’Épître à Tite. Cette lettre que Tite a reçue de son illustre maître, il a dû toujours la conserver et en faire la règle de sa vie. Essayons, nous aussi, pendant quelques jours, de vivre dans l’esprit de la lettre à Tite. Sans doute, cette lettre est avant tout une lettre pastorale, et les pasteurs des âmes peuvent y voir le résumé de leurs devoirs, la magna charta de leurs fonctions. Mais les laïcs eux-mêmes trouveront, dans cette belle lettre, bien des paillettes d’or. L’Épître contient quelques passages sublimes sur le Christ (ces deux morceaux sont utilisés comme Épître aux messes de Noël [6]. — Dans la bibliothèque liturgique de notre maison, doivent se trouver des livres de ce genre, ayant pour auteur les saints dont nous célébrons la fête, ou parlant d’eux.

La messe (Statuit) est du commun des confesseurs pontifes, nous l’avons commentée voilà deux jours. Mais l’Évangile est propre et traite de la mission des 72 disciples. Nous y voyons Tite aux côtés de l’Apôtre des nations, dans ses voyages apostoliques. Dans l’Oraison du jour, nous pouvons encore admirer un détail significatif du travail de la liturgie. Une parole de l’Épître à Tite y est insérée : « Que notre. vie soit juste et pieuse dans ce monde » [7].

[6] Tit. II, 11-15, III, 4-8.

[7] Tit. II, 12.

SOURCE : http://www.introibo.fr/06-02-St-Tite-eveque-et-confesseur



St. Titus (d. 94)

Titus has the distinction of being a close friend and disciple of Paul as well as a fellow missionary. He was Greek, apparently from Antioch. Even though Titus was a Gentile, Paul would not let him be forced to undergo circumcision at Jerusalem. Titus is seen as a peacemaker, administrator, great friend. Paul’s second letter to Corinth affords an insight into the depth of his friendship with Titus, and the great fellowship they had in preaching the gospel: “When I went to Troas…I had no relief in my spirit because I did not find my brother Titus. So I took leave of them and went on to Macedonia…. For even when we came into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were afflicted in every way—external conflicts, internal fears. But God, who encourages the downcast, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus…” (2 Corinthians 2:12a, 13; 7:5-6).

When Paul was having trouble with the community at Corinth, Titus was the bearer of Paul’s severe letter and was successful in smoothing things out. Paul writes he was strengthened not only by the arrival of Titus but also “by the encouragement with which he was encouraged in regard to you, as he told us of your yearning, your lament, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced even more…. And his heart goes out to you all the more, as he remembers the obedience of all of you, when you received him with fear and trembling” (2 Corinthians 7:7a, 15).

The Letter to Titus addresses him as the administrator of the Christian community on the island of Crete, charged with organizing it, correcting abuses and appointing presbyter-bishops.

SOURCE : http://www.ucatholic.com/saints/saints-timothy-titus/

TITUS was a convert from heathenism, a disciple of St. Paul, one of the chosen companions of the Apostle in his journey to the Council of Jerusalem, and his fellow-laborer in many apostolic missions. From the second epistle which St. Paul sent by the hand of Titus to the Corinthians we gain an insight into his character, and understand the strong affection which his master bore him. Titus had been commissioned to carry out a two-fold office, needing much firmness, discretion, and charity. He was to be the bearer of a severe rebuke to the Corinthians, who were giving scandal and wavering in their faith; and at the same time he was to put their charity to a further test by calling upon them for abundant alms for the church at Jerusalem. St. Paul meanwhile anxiously awaited the result. At Troas he writes, "I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus, my brother." He set sail to Macedonia. Here at last Titus brought the good news. His success had been complete. He reported the sorrow, the zeal, the generosity of the Corinthians, till the Apostle could not contain his joy, and sent back to them his faithful messenger with the letter of comfort from which we have quoted. Titus was finally left as a bishop in Crete, and here he in turn received the epistle which bears his name, and here at last he died in peace.

The mission of Titus to Corinth shows us how well the disciple caught the spirit of his Master. He knew how to be firm and to inspire respect. The Corinthians, we are told, "received him with fear and trembling." He was patient and painstaking. St. Paul "gave thanks to God who had put such carefulness for them in the heart of Titus." And these gifts were enhanced by a quickness to detect and call out all that was good in others, and by a joyousness which overflowed upon the spirit of St Paul himself, who "abundantly rejoiced in the joy of Titus."

REFLECTION.—Saints win their empire over the hearts of men by their wide and affectionate sympathy. This was the characteristic gift of St. Titus, as it was of St. Paul. St. Francis Xavier, and many others.

SOURCE : http://jesus-passion.com/saint_titus_bishop.htm

Titus B (RM)

1st century; feast days formerly January 4 (according to the Roman Martyrology) and February 6 (from the time of Pius IX until the revision of the Roman Calendar in 1970); the Greeks and Syrians keep his feast on August 25. Titus was a Gentile (Acts 18:7), probably born in Gortyna, Crete. He was converted by Saint Paul and became one of Paul's favorite disciples and his secretary. Saint Paul refers to him as "my true child after a common faith" (Titus 1:4). He acted as Saint Paul's secretary and travelled with him to the Council of Jerusalem, where Paul refused to allow him to be circumcised.



Paul sent Titus to Corinth to settle dissension, and again later to collect alms for the poor Christians of Jerusalem. Saint Paul ordained him the first bishop of Crete. Paul's letter to Titus certainly leaves that impression. He met Paul in Epirus and later Paul sent a letter to him from Macedonia giving directions on spiritual matters and the proper performance of a good bishop. After travelling to Dalmatia he returned to Crete, where he probably died an old man.

The untrustworthy Acts of Titus, supposedly written by Zenas the lawyer (Titus 3:13), say that Titus was a royal descendent born on Crete, and he went to Judea at age 20 after receiving a divine command; other equally unreliable sources say he was born at Iconium or Corinth.

Titus was presumably buried at Gortnya (Crete). His head was brought to Venice after the invasion of the Saracens in 823, and it is venerated in Saint Mark's (Attwater, Attwater2, Benedictines, Butler, Coulson, Delaney, Farmer, White).

Titus is portrayed in art bareheaded, in a chasuble with a pastoral staff; or with a bright, smiling face (White). According to Roeder, he is pictured as a bishop with a palm, lion of Saint Mark, and the words Provincia Candiae above him; often there is a radiance beaming from his face (Roeder). Saint Titus is invoked against free-thinkers (Roeder). 

SOURCE : http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/0126.shtml


St. Titus, Disciple of St. Paul, Bishop

See St. Paul, ep. ad Tit. and 1. and 2. ad Cor., also, Tillemont, T. 2., Calmet, T. 8., Le Quien Oriens Christianus, T. 2. p. 256, F. Farlat Illyrici sacri. T. 1. p. 354. ad. 392.

ST. TITUS was born a Gentile, and seems to have been converted by St. Paul, who calls him his son in Christ. His extraordinary virtue and merit gained him the particular esteem and affection of this apostle; for we find him employed as his secretary and interpreter; and he styles him his brother, and co-partner in his labours; commends exceedingly his solicitude and zeal for the salvation of his brethren. 1 and in the tenderest manner expresses the comfort and support he found in him, 2 in so much, that, on a certain occasion, he declared that he found no rest in his spirit, because at Troas he had not met Titus. 3 In the year 51, he accompanied him to the council that was held at Jerusalem, on the subject of the Mosaic rites. Though the apostle had consented to the circumcision of Timothy, in order to render his ministry acceptable among the Jews, he would not allow the same in Titus, apprehensive of giving thereby a sanction to the error of certain false brethren, who contended, that the ceremonial institutes of the Mosaic law were not abolished by the law of grace. Towards the close of the year 56, St. Paul sent Titus from Ephesus to Corinth, with full commission to remedy the several subjects of scandal, as also to allay the dissensions in that church. He was there received with great testimonies of respect and was perfectly satisfied with regard to the penance and submission of the offenders; but could not be prevailed upon to accept from them any present, not even so much as his own maintenance. His love for that church was very considerable, and at their request he interceded with St. Paul for the pardon of the incestuous man. He was sent the same year by the apostle a second time to Corinth, to prepare the alms that church designed for the poor Christians at Jerusalem. All these particulars we learn from St. Paul’s two epistles to the Corinthians.

St. Paul, after his first imprisonment, returning from Rome into the east, made some stay in the island of Crete, to preach there the faith of Jesus Christ; but the necessities of other churches requiring his presence elsewhere, he ordained his beloved disciple Titus bishop of that island, and left him to finish the work he had successfully begun. “We may form a judgment,” says St. Chrysostom, 4 “from the importance of the charge, how great the esteem of St. Paul was for his disciple.” But finding the loss of such a companion too material, at his return into Europe the year after, the apostle ordered him to meet him at Nicopolis in Epirus, where he intended to pass the winter, and to set out for that place as soon as either Tychichus, or Arthemas, whom he had sent to supply his place during his absence, should arrive in Crete. St. Paul sent these instructions to Titus, in the canonical epistle addressed to him, when on his journey to Nicopolis, in autumn, in the year 64. He ordered him to establish priests, 5 that is, bishops, as St. Jerom, St. Chrysostom, and Theodoret expound it, in all the cities of the island. He sums up the principal qualities necessary for a bishop, and gives him particular advice touching his own conduct to his flock, exhorting him to hold to strictness of discipline, but seasoned with lenity. This epistle contains the rule of episcopal life, and as such, we may regard it as faithfully copied in the life of this disciple. In the year 65, we find him sent by St. Paul to preach in Dalmatia. 6 He again returned to Crete, and settled the faith in that, and the adjacent little island. All that can be affirmed further of him is, that he finished a laborious and holy life by a happy death in Crete, in a very advanced old age, some affirm in the ninety-fourth year of his age. The body of St. Titus was kept with great veneration in the cathedral of Gortyna, the ruins of which city, the ancient metropolis of the island, situated six miles from Mount Ida, are still very remarkable. This city being destroyed by the Saracens in 823, these relics could never since be discovered: only the head of our saint was conveyed safe to Venice, and is venerated in the Ducal basilic of St. Mark. (See Creta Sacra, Auctore Flaminio Cornelio, Senatore Veneto. Venetiis, anno 1755, de S. Tito, T. 1. p. 189. 195.) St. Titus has been looked upon in Crete as the first archbishop of Gortyna, which metropolitical see is fixed at Candia, since this new metropolis was built by the Saracens. The cathedral of the city of Candia, which now gives its name to the whole island, bears his name. The Turks leave this church in the hands of the Christians. The city of Candia was built in the ninth century, seventeen miles from the ancient Gortyn or Gortyna. Under the metropolitan of Candia, there are at present in this island eleven suffragan bishops of the Greek communion.

When St. Paul assumed Titus to the ministry, this disciple was already a saint, and the apostle found in him all the conditions which he charged him so severely to require in those whom he should honour with the pastoral charge. It is an illusion of false zeal, and a temptation of the enemy, for young novices to begin to teach before they have learned themselves how to practise. Young birds, which leave their nests before they are able to fly, are sure to perish. Trees which push forth their buds before the season, yield no fruit, the flowers being either nipped by the frost, or destroyed by the sun. So those who give themselves up to the exterior employments of the ministry, before they are thoroughly grounded in the spirit of the gospel, drain their tender interior virtue, and produce only unclean or tainted fruit. All who undertake the pastoral charge, besides a thorough acquaintance with the divine law, and the maxims and spirit of the gospel, and experience, discretion, and a knowledge of the heart of man, or his passions, must have seriously endeavoured to die to themselves by the habitual practice of self-denial, and a rooted humility; and must have been so well exercised in holy contemplation as to retain that habitual disposition of soul amidst exterior employments, and in them to be able still to say, I sleep, and my heart watches; 7 that is, I sleep to all earthly things, and am awake only to my heavenly friend and spouse, being absorbed in the thoughts and desires of the most ardent love

Note 1. 2 Cor. viii. 16, xii. 18. [back]

Note 2. 2 Cor. vii. 6, 7. [back]

Note 3. 2 Cor. xi. 13. [back]

Note 4. Hom. i. in Tit. [back]

Note 5. [Greek], Tit. i. 5. See the learned Dr. Hammond’s dissertation on this subject. From the words of St. Paul, Tit. i. De Marea de Concord. l. 1. c. 3. n. 2. and Schelstrate, T. 2. Ant. Eccl. Diss. 4. c. 2. prove archbishops to be of apostolic institution. [back]

Note 6. St. Titus certainly preached in Dalmatia, 2 Tim. iv. 10, &c. He is honoured in that country as its principal apostle, on which see the learned Jesuit F. Farlat, Illyrici Sacr. T. i. p. 355. St. Domnius, who is honoured among the saints on the 7th of May, is said to have been ordained by him first bishop of Salona, then the metropolis, which see was afterwards translated to Spalatro. [back]

Note 7. Cant. v. [back]

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume I: January. The Lives of the Saints.  1866.




***

Epistles to Timothy and Titus

Sts. Timothy and Titus

Saints Timothy and Titus were two of the most beloved and trusted disciples of St. Paul, whom they accompanied in many of his journeys. Timothy is mentioned in
and Titus in
St. Timothy has been regarded by some as the "angel of the church of Ephesus", Revelation 2:1-17. According to the ancient Roman martyrology he died Bishop of Ephesus. The Bollandists (24 Jan.) give two lives of St. Timothy, one ascribed to Polycrates (an early Bishop of Ephesus, and a contemporary of St. Irenæus) and the other by Metaphrastes, which is merely an expansion of the former. The first states that during the Neronian persecution St. John arrived at Ephesus, where he lived with St. Timothy until he was exiled to Patmos under Domitian. Timothy, who was unmarried, continued Bishop of Ephesus until, when he was over eighty years of age, he was mortally beaten by the pagans. According to early tradition Titus continued after St. Paul's death as Archbishop of Crete, and died there when he was over ninety.

Epistles to Timothy and Titus — authenticity

Internal evidence

The remainder of this article will be devoted to the important question of authenticity, which would really require a volume for discussion. Catholics know from the universal tradition and infallible teaching of the Church that these Epistles are inspired, and from this follows their Pauline authorship as they all claim to have been written by the Apostle. There was no real doubt on this question until the beginning of the nineteenth century; but since that time they have been most bitterly attacked by German and other writers. Their objections are principally based on internal evidence and the alleged difficulty of finding a place for them in the lifetime of St. Paul.

Objection from the absence of Pauline vocabulary

Moffatt, a representative writer of this school, writes (Ency. Bib., IV): "Favourite Pauline phrases and words are totally wanting. . . . The extent and significance of this change in vocabulary cannot adequately be explained even when one assigns the fullest possible weight to such factors as change of amanuensis, situation or topic, lapse of time, literary fertility, or senile weakness." Let us examine this writer's list of favourite Pauline words of the absence of which so very much is made:

Adikos (unjust). — This is found in Rom., iii, 5; 1 Corinthians 6:1-9, but not in any of the other Pauline epistles, admitted to be genuine by this writer. If its absence be fatal to the Pastorals, why not also to I and II Thess., II Cor., Gal., Philip., Col., and Philem.? Moreover, the noun adikia is found in the Pastorals, 2 Timothy 2:19.

Akatharsia (uncleanness) does not occur in First Corinthians, Philippians, Second Thessalonians and Philemon. If that does not tell against these Epistles why is it quoted against the Pastorals?

Ouiothesia (adoption). — This word is three times in Romans, once in Galatians, but it does not occur at all in First and Second Corinthians, First and Second Thessalonians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon. Why its omission should be used against the Pastorals is not easy to understand.

Patre hemon (Our Father). — Two expressions, God "our Father" and God "the Father" are found in St. Paul's Epistles. The former is frequent in his earlier Epistles, viz., seven times in Thess., while the latter expression is not used. But in Romans "God our Father" appears but once, and "the Father" once. In I Cor. we read God "our Father" once, and "the Father" twice; and the same has to be said of II Cor. In Gal. we have "our Father" once and "the Father" three times. In Phil. the former occurs twice and the latter once; in Col. the former only once, and the latter three times. "The Father" occurs once in each of the Pastoral Epistles, and from the above it is evident that it is just as characteristic of St. Paul as "our Father", which is found but once in each of the Epistles to the Romans, I and II Cor., Gal., and Col., and it would be absurd to conclude from this that all the remaining chapters were spurious.

Diatheke (covenant) occurs twice in Rom., once in 1 Corinthians, twice in II Cor., thrice in Gal., and not at all in I and II Thess., Phil., Col., and Philem., admitted to be genuine by Moffatt.

Apokalyptein (reveal), a word not found in 2 Corinthians, 1 Thessalonians, Colossians, and Philemon, and only once in Philippians.

Eleutheros (free), is not in I and II Thess., II Cor., Phil., and Philem., so it is no test of Pauline authorship. Its compounds are not met in I and II Thess., Phil., Col., or Philem., and, with the exception of Gal., in the others sparingly.

Energein (to be operative) is seen but once in each of Rom., Phil., Col., I and II Thess.; and no one would conclude from its absence from the remaining portions of these Epistles, which are longer than the Pastorals, that they were not written by St. Paul.

Katergazesthai (perform), though several times in Rom. and II Cor., and once in I Cor. and in Phil. is wanting in I and II Thess., Gal., Col., and Philem., which are genuine without it.

Kauchasthai (boast), only once in Philippians and in 2 Thessalonians, and not at all in 1 Thessalonians, Colossians, and Philemon.

Moria (folly) is five times in 1 Corinthians, and nowhere else in St. Paul's Epistles.

But we need not weary the reader by going through the entire list. We have carefully examined every word with the like results. With perhaps a single exception, every word is absent from several of St. Paul's genuine Epistles, and the exceptional word occurs but once in some of them. The examination shows that this list does not afford the slightest argument against the Pastorals, and that St. Paul wrote a great deal without using such words. The compilation of such lists is likely to leave an erroneous impression on the mind of the unguarded reader. By a similar process, with the aid of a concordance, it could be proved that every Epistle of St. Paul has an appearance of spuriousness. It could be shown that Galatians, for instance, does not contain many words that are found in some of the other Epistles. A method of reasoning which leads to such erroneous conclusions should be discredited; and when writers make very positive statements on the strength of such misleading lists in order to get rid of whole books of Scripture, their other assertions should not be readily taken for granted.

Objection from the use of particles

Certain particles and prepositions are wanting. Jülicher in his "Introd. to the New Test.", p. 181, writes: "The fact that brings conviction [against the Pastorals] is that many words which were indispensable to Paul are absent from the Pastoral Epistles, e.g. ara, dio, dioti." But, as Jacquier points out, nothing can be concluded from the absence of particles, because St. Paul's employment of them is not uniform, and several of them are not found in his unquestioned Epistles. Dr. Headlam, an Anglican writer, pointed out in a paper read at the Church Congress, in 1904, that ara occurs twenty-six times in the four Epistles of the second group, only three times in all the others, but not at all in Col., Phil., or Philem. Dio occurs eighteen times in Rom., Gal. and Cor., but not at all in Col. or II Thess. The word disti does not occur in II Thess., II Cor., Ephesians, Col., or Philem. We find that epeita does not appear at all in Rom., II Cor., Phil., Col., II Thess., and Philem., nor eti in I Thess., Col., and Philem. It is unnecessary to go through the entire catalogue usually given by opponents, for the same phenomenon is discovered throughout. Particles were required in the argumentative portions of St. Paul's Epistles, but they are used very sparingly in the practical parts, which resemble the Pastorals. Their employment, too, depended greatly on the character of the amanuensis.

Objection from Hapax Legomena

The great objection to the Pastorals is the admittedly large number of hapax legomena found in them. Workman (Expository Times, VII, 418) taking the term "hapax legomenon" to mean any word used in a particular Epistle and not again occurring in the New Testament, found from Grimm-Thayer's "Lexicon" the following numbers of hapax legomena: Rom. 113, I Cor. 110, II Cor. 99, Gal. 34, Eph. 43 Phil. 41, Col. 38, I Thess. 23, II Thess. 11, Philem. 5, i Tim. 82, II Tim. 53, Titus 33. The numbers have to be somewhat reduced as they contain words from variant readings. These figures would suggest to most people, as they did to Dean Farrar, that the number of peculiar words in the Pastorals does not call for any special explanation. Mr. Workman, however, thinks that for scientific purposes the proportionate length of the Epistles should he taken into account. He calculated the average number of hapax legomena occurring on a page of Westcott and Hort's text with the following results: II Thessalonians 3-6, Philemon 4, Galatians 4.1, I Thessalonians 4.2, Romans 4.3, I Corinthians 4.6, Ephesians 4.9, II Corinthians 6.10, Colossians 6-3, Philippians 6-8, II Timothy 11, Titus and I Timothy 13. The proportion of hapax legomena in the Pastorals is large, but when compared with Phil., it is not larger than that between II Cor, and II Thess. It has to be noted that these increase in the order of time.

Workman gives a two-fold explanation. First, a writer as he advances in life uses more strange words and involved constructions, as is seen on comparing Carlyle's "Latter-Day Pamphlets" and his "Heroes and Hero-Worship". Secondly, the number of unusual words in any author is a variable quantity. He has found the average number of hapax legomena per page of Irving's one-volume edition of Shakespeare's plays to be as follows: "Love's Labour Lost" 7.6, "Comedy of Errors" 4.5, "Two Gentlemen of Verona" 3.4, "Romeo and Juliet" 5.7, "Henry VI, pt. 3" 3.5, "Taming of the Shrew" 5.1, "Midsummer Night's Dream" 6.8, "Richard II" 4.6, "Richard III" 4.4, "King John" 5.4, "Merchant of Venice" 5.6, "Henry IV, pt. I" 9.3, "pt. II" 8, "Henry V" 8.3, "Merry Wives of Windsor" 6.9, "Much Ado About Nothing" 4.7, "As You Like It" 6.4, "Twelfth Night" 7.5, "All's Well" 6.9, "Julius Cæsar" 3.4, "Measure for Measure" 7, "Troilus and Cressida" 10.1, "Macbeth" 9.7, "Othello" 7.3, "Anthony and Cleopatra" 7.4, "Coriolanus" 6.8, "King Lear" 9.7, "Timon" 6.2, "Cymbeline" 6.7, "The Tempest" 9.3, "Titus Andronicus" 4.9, "Winter's Tale" 8, "Hamlet" 10.4, "Henry VIII" 4.3, "Pericles" 5.2. For a similar argument on Dante see Butler's "Paradise", XI. The totals of hapax legomena for some of the plays are: "Julius Cæsar" 93, "Comedy of Errors" 88, "Macbeth" 245, "Othello" 264, "King Lear" 358, "Cymbeline" 252, "Hamlet" 426, "The Merchant of Venice" 148. This scrutiny of the words peculiar to each play throws light on another difficulty in the Pastorals, viz, the recurrence of such expressions as "a faithful saying", "sound words", etc. "Moon-calf" occurs five times in "The Tempest", and nowhere else; "pulpit" six times in one scene of "Julius Cæsar" and never elsewhere; "hovel" five times in "King Lear"; "mountaineer" four times in "Cymbeline", etc. Compare, "God forbid", me genoito of Gal., Rom., once in I Cor. — not in the other Epistles of St. Paul. "Sound words" was used by Philo before St. Paul, in whom it may be due to intercourse with St. Luke. (See Plumptre's list of words common to St. Luke and St. Paul, quoted in Farrar's "St. Paul", I, 481.)

Mr. Workman has overlooked one point in his very useful article. The hapax legomena are not evenly distributed over the Epistles; they occur in groups. Thus, more than half of those in Col. are found in the second chapter, where a new subject is dealt with (see Abbott, "Crit. . . . Comment. on Ep. to the Ephes. and to the Coloss." in "Internat. Crit. Comment."). This is as high a proportion as in any chapter of the Pastorals. Something similar is observable in II Cor., Thess., etc. Over sixty out of the seventy-five hapax legomena in I Tim. occur in forty-four verses, where the words, for the most part, naturally arise out of the new subjects treated of. The remaining two-thirds of the Epistle have as few hapax legomena as any other portion of St. Paul's writings. Compounds of phil-, oiko-, didask-, often objected to, are also found in his other Epistles.

The "Authorship of the Pastoral Epistles" was discussed in "The Church Quarterly" in October, 1906, and January, 1907. In the first the writer pointed out that the anti-Pauline hypothesis presented more difficulties than the Pauline; and in the second he made a detailed examination of the hapax legomena. Seventy-three of these are found in the Septuagint, of which St. Paul was a diligent student, and any of them might just as well have been used by him as by an imitator. Ten of the remainder are suggested by Septuagint words, e.g. anexikakos 2 Timothy 2:24, anexikakia Wisd., ii, 9; antithesis 1 Timothy 6:20, antithetos Job 32:3; authentein 1 Timothy 2:12, authentes Wisd., xii, 6; genealogia 1 Timothy 1:4, Tit., iii, 9; geneealogein 1 Chronicles 5:1; paroinos 1 Timothy 3:3, Tit., i, 7, paroinein Isaiah 41:12, etc. Twenty-eight of the words now left are found in the classics, and thirteen more in Aristotle and Polybius. Strabo, born in 66 B. C., enables us to eliminate graodes. All these words formed part of the Greek language current up to St. Paul's time and as well known to him as to anybody at the end of the first century. Any word used by an author contemporary with St. Paul may reasonably be supposed to have been as well known to himself as to a subsequent imitator. In this way we may deduct eight of the remaining words, which are common to the Pastorals and Philo, an elder contemporary of St. Paul. In dealing with the fifty remaining words we must recall the obvious fact that a new subject requires a new vocabulary. If this be neglected, it would be easy to prove that Plato did not write the Timæus. Organization and the conduct of practical life, etc., cannot be dealt with in the same words in which points of doctrine are discussed. This fairly accounts for eight words, such as xenodochein, oikodespotein, teknogonein, philandros, heterodidaskalein, etc., used by the author. His detestation of the errorists doubtless called forth kenophonia, logomachein, logomachia, metaiologia, metaiologos, several of which were probably coined for the occasion. The element of pure chance in language accounts for "parchments", "cloak", and "stomach": he had no occasion to speak about such things previously, nor of a pagan "prophet". Seven of the remaining words are dealt with on the modest principle that words formed from composition or derivation from admittedly Pauline words may more reasonably be supposed to come from St. Paul himself than from a purely hypothetical imitator, e.g. airetikos, adj., Titus 3:10; airesis, 1 Corinthians 11:19; Galatians 5:20; dioktes, 1 Timothy 1:13; diokein, Rom., xii, 14, etc.; episoreuein, 2 Timothy 4:3; soreuein epi Rom., xii, 20; LXX, etc. Five other words are derived from Biblical words and would as easily have occurred to St. Paul as to a later writer. The remaining words, about twenty, are disposed of separately.

Epiphaneia instead of parousia, for the second coming of Christ, is not against the Pastorals, because St. Paul's usage in this matter is not uniform. We have he memera kyriou in 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 1 Corinthians 1:8 and 5:5; he apokalypsis in 2 Thessalonians 1:17; and he epiphaneia tes parousias autou in 2 Thessalonians 2:8. Lilley ("Pastoral Epistles", Edinburgh, 1901, p. 48) states that out of the 897 words contained in the Pastorals 726 are common to them and the other books of the New Testament, and two-thirds of the entire vocabulary are found in the other Epistles of St. Paul; and this is the proportion of common words found in Galatians and Romans. The same writer, in his complete list of 171 hapax legomena in the Pastorals, points out that 113 of these are classical words, that is, belonging to the vocabulary of one well acquainted with Greek; and it is not surprising that so many are found in these Epistles which were addressed to two disciples well educated in the Greek language. Another point much insisted upon by objectors is a certain limited literary or verbal affinity connecting the Pastorals with Luke and Acts and therefore, it is asserted, pointing to a late date. But in reality this connexion is in their favour, as there is a strong tendency of modern criticism to acknowledge the Lucan authorship of these two books, and Harnack has written two volumes to prove it (see GOSPEL OF SAINT LUKE). He has now added a third to show that they were written by St. Luke before A.D. 64. When the Pastorals were written, St. Luke was the constant companion of St. Paul, and may have acted as his amanuensis. This intercourse would doubtless have influenced St. Paul's vocabulary, and would account for such expressions as agathoergein of 1 Timothy 6:18, agathopoein of Luke 6:9, agathourgein, contracted from agathoergein, Acts 14:17. St. Paul has ergazomeno to agathon (Romans 2:10). — From all that has been said, it is not surprising that Thayer, in his translation of Grimm's "Lexicon", wrote: "The monumental misjudgments committed by some who have made questions of authorship turn on vocabulary alone, will deter students, it is to be hoped, from misusing the lists exhibiting the peculiarities of the several books."

Objection from style

"The comparative absence of rugged fervour, the smoother flow, the heaping up of words, all point to another sign-manual than that of Paul" (Ency. Bib.) — Precisely the same thing could be urged against some of St. Paul's other Epistles, and against large sections of the remainder. All critics admit that large portions of the Pastorals are so much like St. Paul's writings that they actually maintain that they are taken from fragments of genuine letters of the Apostle (now lost). Various discordant attempts have been made to separate these portions from the rest, but with so little success that Jülicher confesses that the thing is impossible. On the other hand, it is the general opinion of the best scholars that all three Epistles are from the pen of one and the same writer. That being the case, and it being impossible to deny that portions indistinguishable from the rest are by St. Paul, it follows that the early and universal tradition ascribing the whole of them to the Apostle is correct.

As we pass from one to another of the four groups of St. Paul's Epistles;
  • (1) Thessalonians;
  • (2) Galatians, Corinthians, Romans;
  • (3) Captivity Epistles;
  • (4) Pastorals
We observe considerable differences of style side by side with very marked and characteristic resemblances, and that is precisely what we find in the case of the Pastorals. There are some striking points of connexion between them and Phil., the Epistle probably nearest to them in date; but there are many resemblances in vocabulary, style, and ideas connecting them with portions of all the other Epistles, especially with the practical parts. There are, for instance, forty-two passages connecting I Tim. with the earlier Epistles. The terms are nearly identical, but display an amount of liberty denoting the working of the same independent mind, not a conscious imitation. The Pastorals show throughout the same marks of originality as are found in all the writings of the Apostle. There are similar anacolutha, incomplete sentences, play on words, long drawn periods, like comparisons, etc. The Pastorals are altogether practical, and therefore do not show the rugged fervour of style confined, for the most part, to the controversial and argumentative portions of his large epistles. (See the very valuable book by James, "Genuineness and Authorship of the Pastoral Epistles", London, 1906; also Jacquier, and Lilley.) It may be well to note, in this connexion, that Van Steenkiste, professor at the Catholic Seminary of Bruges, asserted, as long ago as 1876, that the inspiration of the Pastorals and their Pauline authorship would be sufficiently safeguarded if we accepted the view that they were written in the name and with the authority of the Apostle by one of his companions, say St. Luke, to whom he distinctly explained what had to be written, or to whom he gave a written summary of the points to be developed, and that when the letters were finished, St. Paul read them through, approved them, and signed them. This, he thinks, was the way in which "Hebrews" also, was written (S. Pauli Epistolæ, II, 283).

Objection from the advanced state of Church organization

This objection is adequately answered in the articles HIERARCHY OF THE EARLY CHURCH, BISHOP, etc. See also "The Establishment of the Episcopate" in Bishop Gore's "Orders and Unity" (London, 1909), 115. The seven, St. Stephen, Philip, etc., were set aside for their ministry by the Apostles by prayer and the laying on of hands. Immediately after this we read that they were filled with the Holy Ghost, and preached with great success (Acts 6:7). From St. Luke's usual method we may conclude that a similar ceremony was employed by the Apostles on other occasions when men were set aside to be deacons, presbyters, or bishops. We read of presbyters with the Apostles at an early date in Jerusalem (Acts 15:2) and according to the earliest tradition, St. James the Less was appointed bishop there on the dispersion of the Apostles, and succeeded by his cousin Simeon in A.D. 62. Sts. Paul and Barnabas ordained priests in every church at Derbe, Lystra, Antioch of Pisidia, etc. (Acts 14:22). Bishops and priests, or presbyters, are mentioned in St. Paul's speech at Miletus (Acts 20:28). In his first Epistle (1 Thessalonians 5:12) St. Paul speaks of rulers who were over them in the Lord, — see also Romans 12:8; "governments" are referred to in 1 Corinthians 12:28, and "Pastors" in Ephesians 4:11. St. Paul wrote "to all the saints in Christ Jesus, who are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons" (Philippians 1:1).

In Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:28 and Ephesians 4:11, St. Paul is not giving a list of offices in the Church, but of charismatic gifts (for the meaning of which see HIERARCHY OF THE EARLY CHURCH). Those who were endowed with supernatural and transitory charismata were subject to the Apostles and presumably to their delegates. Side by side with the possessors of such gifts we read of "rulers", "governors", "pastors", and in other places of "bishops", "priests", and "deacons". These, we may lawfully assume, were appointed under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost by the Apostles, by prayer and laying on of hands. Amongst these so appointed before A.D. 64 there were certainly ordained deacons, priests, and possibly bishops also. If so they had bishop's orders, but the limits of their jurisdiction were not as yet, perhaps, very clearly defined, and depended altogether on the will of the Apostles. it is assuredly in the highest degree likely that the Apostles, towards the end of their lives and as the Church extended more and more, ordained and delegated others to appoint such priests and deacons as they had been in the habit of appointing themselves. The earliest tradition shows that such a thing took place in Rome by A.D. 67; and there is nothing more advanced than this in the Pastorals. Timothy and Titus were consecrated delegates to rule with Apostolic authority and appoint deacons, priests, and bishops (probably synonymous in these Epistles).

But a further objection is raised as follows: "The distinctive element, however, i.e. the prominence assigned to Timothy and Titus is intelligible only on the supposition that the author had specially in view the ulterior end of vindicating the evangelic succession of contemporary episcopi and other office bearers where this was liable for various reasons to be challenged. . . . The craving (visible in Clem. Rom.) for continuity of succession as a guarantee of authority in doctrine (and therefore in discipline) underlies the efforts of this Paulinist to show that Timothy and Titus were genuine heirs of Paul" (Ency. Bib., IV). — If this craving is visible in St. Clement of Rome, who was a disciple of the Apostles there and wrote less than thirty years after their death, it is surely more likely that he was maintaining an organization established by them than that he was defending one of which they were ignorant. If these Epistles were written against people who challenged the authority of bishops and priests about A.D. 100, why is it that these opponents did not cry out against forgeries written to confute themselves? But of all this there is not the slightest shred of evidence.

Objection

No room for them in the life-time of St. Paul. — The writer in the "Ency. Bib." is never tired of accusing the defenders of the Epistles of making gratuitous assumptions, though he allows himself considerable liberty in that respect throughout his article. It is a gratuitous assertion, for example, to state that St. Paul was put to death at the end of the first Roman captivity, A.D. 63 or 64. Christianity was not yet declared a reliqio illicita, and according to Roman law there was nothing deserving of death against him. He was arrested to save him from the Jewish mob in Jerusalem. The Jews did not appear against him during the two years he was kept in prison. Agrippa said he could have been delivered had he not appealed to Cæsar, so there was no real charge against him when he was brought before the emperor's or his representative's tribunal. The Epistles written during this Roman captivity show that he expected to be soon released (Philem., 22; Phil., ii, 24). Lightfoot, Harnack, and others, from the wards of Clem. Rom. and the Muratorian Fragment, think that he was not only released, but that he actually carried out his design of visiting Spain. During the years from 63-67 there was ample time to visit Crete and other places and write I Tim. and Titus. II Tim. was written from his second Roman prison soon before his death.

Objection from the errors condemned

It is said that the errors referred to in the Pastorals did not exist in St. Paul's time, though the most advanced critics (Ency. Bib.) have now abandoned the theory (maintained with great confidence in the nineteenth century) that the Epistles were written against Marcion and other Gnostics about the middle of the second century. It is now conceded that they were known to Sts. Ignatius and Polycarp, and therefore written not later than the end of the first century or early part of the second. It requires a keen critical sense to detect at that time the existence of errors at the time of Ignatius, the seeds of which did not exist thirty or forty years earlier or of which St. Paul could not have foreseen the development. "The environment is marked by incipient phases of what afterwards blossomed out into the Gnosticism of the second century" (Ency. Bib.): — but the incipient phases of Gnosticism are now placed by competent scholars at a much earlier date than that indicated by this writer. No known system of Gnosticism corresponds with the errors mentioned in the Pastorals; in reply to this, however, it is said that the "errors are not given in detail to avoid undue anachronisms" (ibid.). Sometimes opponents of the authenticity unfairly attack the actual contents, but here the Epistles are condemned for "contents" which they do not contain. An amusing instance of the precariousness of the subjective method is seen in this same article (Ency. Bib.). The writer arguing against the Epistles on the subject of greetings says that "Philemon is the one private note of Paul extant". We are suddenly brought up, however, by a note (editorial?) within square brackets: "compare, however, Philemon." On turning to Philemon we find van Manen asserting, with equal confidence, that the Apostle had nothing whatsoever to do with that Epistle, and he supports his statement by the same kind of subjective arguments and assertions that we find running through the article on Timothy and Titus. He even throws out the absurd suggestion that Philemon was based on the letter of Pliny, which is given in full by Lightfoot in his edition of Philemon.

Hort in his "Judaistic Christianity" (London, 1898), 130-48, does not believe that the errors of the Pastorals had any connexion with Gnosticism, and he gives a very full reply to the objection with which we are dealing. With Weiss he clears the ground by making some important distinctions:
  • (1) We must distinguish prophecies about future false teachers which imply that germs, to say the least, of the future evils are already perceptible (1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 4:3) from warnings about the present;
  • (2) The perversities of individuals like Alexander, Hymenæus, and Philetus must not be taken as direct evidence of a general stream of false teaching;
  • (3) Non-Christian teachers, the corrupters of Christian belief, must not be confounded with misguided Christians.
The errors which St. Paul easily foresaw would arise amongst false Christians and pagans cannot be urged against the Epistles as if they had already arisen. Hort makes out a good case that there is not the smallest trace of Gnosticism in the existing errors amongst the Ephesian and Cretan Christians, which are treated more as trivialities than serious errors. "The duty laid on Timothy and Titus is not that of refuting deadly errors, but of keeping themselves clear, and warning others to keep clear of mischievous trivialities usurping the office of religion." He shows that all these errors have evident marks of Judaistic origin. The fact that St. Irenæus, Hegesippus, and others used the words of the Pastorals against the Gnostics of the second century is no proof that Gnosticism was in the mind of their author. Words of Scripture have been employed to confute heretics in every age. This, he says, is true of the expressions pseudonymos gnosis, aphthartos, aion, epiphaneia, which have to be taken in their ordinary sense. "There is not the faintest sign that such words have any reference to what we call Gnostic terms."

Hort takes genealogiai in much the same sense in which it was employed by Polybius, IX, ii, 1, and Diodorus Siculus, IV, i, to mean stories, legends, myths of the founders of states. "Several of these early historians, or 'logographers' are known to have written books of this kind entitled Genealogiai, Genealogika (e.g. Hecatæus, Acusilanus, Simonides the Younger, who bore the title ho Genealogos, as did also Pherecydes)" (p. 136). Philo included under to genealogikon all primitive human history in the Pentateuch. A fortiori this term could be applied by St. Paul to the rank growth of legend respecting the Patriarchs, etc., such as we find in the "Book of Jubilees" and in the "Haggada". This was condemned by him as trashy and unwholesome. The other contemporary errors are of a like Jewish character. Hort takes antithesis tes pseudonymou gnoseos to refer to the casuistry of the scribes such as we find in the "Halacha", just as the mythoi, and genealogiai designate frivolities such as are contained in the Haggada.

But is it not possible that these (antitheseis tes pseudonymou gnoseos) refer to the system of interpretation developed later in the Kabbala, of which a convenient description is given in Gigot's "General Introduction to the Study of the Holy Scripture", p. 411? (see also "Kabbala" in "Jewish Encyclopedia" and Vigoroux, "Dict. de la Bible"). He who followed only the literal meaning of the text of the Hebrew Bible had no real knowledge, or gnosis, of the deep mysteries contained in the letters and words of Scripture. By notarikon words were constructed from the initials of several, or sentences formed by using the letters of a word as initials of words. By ghematria the numerical values of letters were used, and words of equal numerical value were substituted for each other and new combinations formed. By themura the alphabet was divided into two equal parts, and the letters of one half on being substituted for the corresponding letters of the other half, in the text, brought out the hidden sense of the Scripture. These systems date back to time immemorial. They were borrowed from the Jews by the Gnostics of the second century, and were known to some of the early Fathers, and were probably in use before Apostolic times. Now antithesis may mean not only opposition or contrast, but also the change or transposition of letters. In this way antithesis tes pseudonymou gnoseos would mean the falsely-called knowledge which consists in the interchange of letters just referred to.

Again, we read: "The mischievous feature about them was their presence within the churches and their combination of plausible errors with apparent, even ostentatious, fidelity to principles of the faith — a trouble elsewhere reflected Acts 20:29f, in connexion with the Ephesian church towards the end of the first century" (Ency. Bib.). We do not admit that Acts 20 was written towards the end of the first century. The best scholars hold it was written by St. Luke long before; and so the critics of the Epistles, having without proof dated the composition of a genuine early New-Testament book at the end of the first century, on the strength of that performance endeavour to discredit three whole books of Scripture.

Miscellaneous objections

We bring together under this heading a number of objections that are found scattered in the text, foot-notes, sub-foot-notes, of the article in the "Ency. Bib."

(1) "The concern to keep the widow class under the bishop's control is thoroughly sub-apostolic (cp. Ign. ad Polycarp. iv. 5) ". — That would not prove that it was not Apostolic as well. On reading the only passage referring to widows (1 Timothy 5) we get a totally different impression from the one conveyed here. The great aim of the writer of the Epistle appears to be to prevent widows from becoming a burden on the Church, and to point out the duty of their relatives to support them. Thirty years before the death of St. Paul the Seven were appointed to look after the poor widows of Jerusalem; and it is absurd to suppose that during all that time no regulations were made as to who should receive support, and who not. Some few of those who were "widows indeed" probably held offices like deaconesses, of whom we read in Romans 16:1, and who were doubtless under the direction of the Apostles and other ecclesiastical authorities. The supposition that nothing was "done in order", but that everything was allowed to go at random, has no support in St. Paul's earlier Epistles.

(2) "The curious antipathy of the writer to second marriages on the part of the presbyters, episcopi, diaconi, and widows (cherai) is quite un-Pauline, but corresponds to the more general feeling prevalent in the second century throughout the churches." — That state of feeling throughout the churches in the second century should make an objector pause. Its Apostolic origin is its best explanation, and there is nothing whatsoever to show that it was un-Pauline. It was St. Paul who wrote as follows at a much earlier date (1 Corinthians 7): "I would that all men were even as myself: . . . But I say to the unmarried, and to the widows: It is good for them if they so continue, even as I . . . But I would have you to be without solicitude. He that is without a wife, is solicitous for the things of the Lord, how he may please God. But he that is with a wife, is solicitous for the things of the world, how he may please his wife: and he is divided . . . He that giveth his virgin in marriage, doth well; and he that giveth her not, doth better." It would be rash to suppose that St. Paul, who wrote thus to the Corinthians, in general, could not shortly before his death require that those who were to take the place of the Apostles and hold the highest offices in the Church should not have been married more than once.

(3) "The distinctive element, however, i.e. the prominence assigned to Timothy and Titus, is intelligible only on the supposition that the author had specially in view the ulterior end of vindicating the legitimate evangelic succession of contemporary episcopi and other office-bearers in provinces where this was liable for various reasons to be challenged" (in the beginning of the second century). — Thousands have read these Epistles, from their very first appearance until now, without such a conclusion suggesting itself to them. If this objection means anything it means that the Apostles could not assign prominent positions to any of their disciples or delegates; which runs counter to what we read of Timothy and Titus in the earlier Epistles of St. Paul.

(4) "The prominence given to 'teaching' qualities shows that one danger of the contemporary churches lay largely in the vagaries of unauthorized teachers (Did., xvi). The author's cure is simple: Better let the episcopus himself teach! Better let those in authority be responsible for the instruction of the ordinary members! Evidently teaching was not originally or usually (1 Timothy 5:17) a function of presbyters, but abuses had led by this time, as the Didache proves, to a need of combining teaching with organised church authority." — What a lot of meaning is read into half a dozen words of these Epistles! In the very first Epistle that St. Paul wrote we read: "And we beseech you, brethren, to know them who labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you: That you esteem them more abundantly in charity, for their work's sake" (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13). The capacity for teaching was a gift, probably a natural one working through God's grace for the good of the Church (see HIERARCHY OF THE EARLY CHURCH), and there was no reason why the Apostle, who attached so much importance to teaching when speaking of his own work, should not require that those who were selected to rule the Churches and carry on his work should be endowed with the aptitude for teaching. In Ephesians 4:11, we find that the same persons were "pastors and doctors". The writer who makes this objection does not admit that real bishops and priests existed in Apostolic times; so this is what his assertion implies: When the Apostles died there were no bishops and priests. After some time they originated somewhere and somehow, and spread all over the Church. During a considerable time they did not teach. Then they began to monopolize teaching, and the practice spread everywhere, and finally the Pastorals were written to confirm this state of affairs, which had no sanction from the Apostles, though these bishops thought otherwise. And all this happened before St. Ignatius wrote, in a short period of thirty or forty years, a length of time spanned say from 1870 or 1880 till 1912 — a rapid state of development indeed, which has no documentary evidence to support it, and which must have taken place, for the most part, under the very eyes of the Apostles St. John and St. Philip, and of Timothy, Titus, Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, and other disciples of the Apostles. The early Christians had more respect for Apostolic traditions than that.

(5) "Baptism is almost a sacrament of salvation (Titus 3:5)." — It is quite a sacrament of salvation, not only here, but in the teaching of Christ, in the Acts, and in St. Paul's Epistles to the Romans, First Corinthians, Galatians, and Colossians, and in 1 Peter 3:21.

(6) "Faith is tending to become more than ever fides quœ creditur." — But it appears as fides qua creditur in 1 Timothy 1:2, 4, 5, 14; 2:7, 15; 3:9, 13; 4:6, 12; 6:11; 2 Timothy 1:5, 13; 2:18, 22; 3:10, 15; Titus 2:2, etc., while it is used in the earlier Epistles not only subjectively but also objectively. See pistis in Preuschen, "Handwörterbuch zum griech. N. Testament." Faith is fides quœ creditur only nine times out of thirty-three passages where pistis occurs in the Pastorals.

(7) "The church to this unmystical author is no longer the bride or the body of Christ but God's building or rather familia dei, quite in the neo-Catholic style." There are several genuine Epistles of St. Paul in which the Church is neither called the body nor the bride of Christ, and in calling it a building he was only following his Master who said: "On this rock I will build my Church." The idea of a spiritual building is quite Pauline. "For we know, if our earthly house of this habitation be dissolved, that we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in heaven" (2 Corinthians 5:1); "And I have so preached this gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation" (Romans 15:20); "For if I build up again the things which I have destroyed, I make myself a prevaricator" (Galatians 2:18); "Let us work good to all men, but especially to those who are of the household of the faith" (Galatians 6:10); "You are fellow citizens with the saints, and the domestics of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone: in whom all the building, being framed together, groweth up into a holy temple in the Lord. In whom you also are built together into an habitation of God in the Spirit" (Ephesians 2:19-22); "You are God's building. According to the grace of God that is given to me as a wise architect, I have laid the foundation. . . . Know you not, that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (1 Corinthians 3:9-17; compare 1 Peter 2:5; "Be you also as living stones built up, a spiritual house"; and 1 Peter 4:17: "For the time is, that judgment should begin at the house of God. And if first at us, what shall be the end of them that believe not the gospel of God?") There is a development in St. Paul's use of the comparisons body and bride, which is exactly paralleled by his use of the words building and temple. They are applied first to individuals, then to communities and finally to the whole Church (see Gayford in Hast., "Dict. of the Bibl." s.v. Church).

(8) "Items of the creed, now rapidly crystallizing in Rome and Asia Minor, are conveyed partly in hymnal fragments which like those in the Apocalypse of John, sprang from the cultus of the churches." There are fragments of the Creed in First Corinthians (see EPISTLES TO THE CORINTHIANS, The First EpistleIts teaching), and there were hymns in use several years before St. Paul's death. He wrote to the Colossians (3:16): "Let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly, in all wisdom: teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles" (cf. Ephesians 5:19). The objections from the "Faithful Sayings" are fully answered in James, "The Genuineness of the Pastorals" (London, 1906), 132-6.

(9) "No possible circumstances could make Paul oblivious (through three separate letters) of God's fatherhood, of the believing man's union with Jesus, of the power and witness of the Spirit, or of reconciliation." These doctrines are not quite forgotten: 1 Timothy 1:15; 2:6; 2 Timothy 1:2, 9; 2:13; Titus 1:4; 3:4, 5, 7. There was no necessity to dwell upon them as he was writing to disciples well acquainted with his teaching, and the purpose of the Epistles was to meet new problems. Besides, this objection could be brought against large portions of the genuine Epistles.

There are several other objections but they are so flimsy that they cannot present any difficulty. What Sanday wrote in 1896 in his "Inspiration" (London) is still true: "It may be asserted without fear of contradiction that nothing really un-Pauline has been proved in any of the disputed epistles."

External evidence

The Pauline authorship of the Pastorals was never doubted by Catholics in early times. Eusebius, with his complete knowledge of early Christian literature, states that they were among the books universally recognized in the Church ta para pasin homologoumena (Church History II.22 and III.3; "Præp. evang.", II, xiv, 7; xvi, 3). They are found in the early Latin and Syriac Versions. St. Clement of Alexandria speaks of them (Stromata II and III), and Tertullian expresses his astonishment that they were rejected by Marcion (Adv. Marcion, V, xxi), and says they were written by St. Paul to Timothy and Titus; evidently their rejection was a thing hitherto unheard of. They are ascribed to St. Paul in the Muratorian Fragment, and Theophilus of Antioch (about 181) quotes from them and calls them the "Divine word" (theios logos). The Martyrs of Vienne and Lyons (about 180) were acquainted with them; and their bishop, Pothinus, who was born about A.D. 87 and martyred in 177 at the age of ninety, takes us back to a very early date. His successor, St. Irenæus, who was born in Asia Minor and had heard St. Polycarp preach, makes frequent use of the Epistles and quotes them as St. Paul's. He was arguing against heretics, so there could be no doubt on either side. The Epistles were also admitted by Heracleon (about 165), Hegesippus (about 170), St. Justin Martyr, and the writer of the "Second Epistle of Clement" (about 140). In the short letter which St. Polycarp wrote (about 117) he shows that he was thoroughly acquainted with them. Polycarp was born only a few years after the death of Saints Peter and Paul, and as Timothy and Titus, according to the most ancient traditions, lived to be very old, he was their contemporary for many years. He was Bishop of Smyrna. only forty miles from Ephesus, where Timothy resided. St. Ignatius, the second successor of St. Peter at Antioch, was acquainted with Apostles and disciples of the Apostles, and shows his knowledge of the Epistles in the letters which he wrote about A.D. 110. Critics now admit that Ignatius and Polycarp knew the Pastorals (von Soden in Holtzmann's "Hand-Kommentar", III, 155; "Ency. Bib.", IV); and there is a very strong probability that they were known also to Clement of Rome, when he wrote to the Corinthians about A.D. 96.


In judging of the early evidence it should be borne in mind that all three Epistles claim to be by St. Paul. So when an early writer shows his familiarity with them, quotes them as authoritative and as evidently well known to his readers, it may be taken as a proof not only of the existence and widespread knowledge of the Epistles, but that the writer took them for what they claim to be, genuine Epistles of St. Paul; and if the writer lived in the time of Apostles, of Apostolic men, of disciples of Apostles, and of Timothy and Titus (as did Ignatius, Polycarp, and Clement) we may be sure that he was correct in doing so. The evidence of these writers is, however, very unceremoniously brushed aside. The heretic Marcion, about A.D. 150, is held to be of much more weight than all of them put together. "Marcion's omission of the pastorals from his canon tells heavily against their origin as preserved in tradition. Philemon was accepted by him, though far more of a private note than any of the pastorals; and the presence of elements antagonistic to his own views need not have made him exclude them, since he could have easily excised these passages in this as in other cases" (Ency. Bib., IV). Marcion rejected the whole of the Old Testament, all the Gospels except St. Luke's, which he grossly mutilated, and all the rest of the New Testament, except ten Epistles of St. Paul, texts of which he changed to suit his purposes. Philemon escaped on account of its brevity and contents. If he crossed out all that was objectionable to him in the Pastorals there would be little left worth preserving. Again, the testimony of all these early writers is regarded as of no more value than the opinion of Aristotle on the authorship of the Homeric poems (ibid.). But in the one case we have the chain of evidence going back to the times of the writer, of his disciples, and of the persons addressed; while Aristotle lived several hundred years after the time of Homer. "The early Christian attitude towards 'Hebrews' is abundant evidence of how loose that judgment [on authorship] could be" (ibid.). The extreme care and hesitancy, in some quarters, about admitting the Pauline authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews when contrasted with the universal and undoubting acceptance of the Pastorals tells strongly in favour of the latter.

Sources

JAMES, Genuineness and Authorship of the Pastoral Epistles (London, 1906); JACQUIER, Hist. du Nouveau Test., I (Paris, 1906; tr. DUGGAN, London); Introductions to N. Test, by CORNELY, SALMON, and other Scriptural scholars; HEADLAM in Church Congress Reports (London, 1904); The Church Quart. Rev, (October, 1906; January, 1907); BISPING, Erklärung der drei Past. (Münster, 1866); WEISS, Tim. und Tit. (Göttingen, 1902); BERNARD, The Pastoral Epistles (Cambridge, 1899); LILLEY, The Pastoral Epistles (Edinburgh, 1901); GORE, Orders and Unity (London, 1909); WORKMAN, The hapax Legomena of St. Paul in Expository Times, VII (1896), 418 HORT, Judaistic Christianity (London, 1898); BELSER. Die Briefe des Apostels Paulus an Timoth. u. Titus (Freiburg); KNOWLING has a good defence of the Pastorals in The Testimony of St. Paul to Christ; see also his article in the Critical Review (July, 1896); RAMSEY. Expositor (1910).

Aherne, Cornelius. "Epistles to Timothy and Titus." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 25 Jan. 2016 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14727b.htm>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Douglas J. Potter. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.


Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. July 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

SOURCE : http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14727b.htm

Santi Timoteo e Tito Vescovi


sec. I

I due santi di oggi sono i collaboratori più strettii dell’apostolo Paolo. Timoteo era nato a Listra da madre giudea e padre pagano. Si era avvicinato alla comunità cristiana e, poiché aveva una buona conoscenza delle Scritture, godeva di grande stima presso i fratelli. Quando, verso l’anno 50, passò da Listra, Paolo lo fece circoncidere per rispetto verso i giudei e lo scelse come compagno di viaggio. Con Paolo Timoteo attraversò l’Asia Minore e raggiunse la Macedonia. Accompagnò poi l’apostolo ad Atene e di lì venne inviato a Tessalonica. Quindi proseguì a sua volta per Corinto e collaborò all’evangelizzazione della città sull’istmo. Tito era di famiglia greca, ancora pagana, e venne convertito dall’apostolo in uno dei suoi viaggi.

Egli viene inviato in particolare alla comunità di Corinto con lo scopo di riconciliare i cristiani di quella città con l’apostolo.
Quando si reca a Gerusalemme per l’incontro con gli apostoli, Paolo porta con sé Timoteo il circonciso insieme con Tito l’incirconciso. Nei suoi due collaboratori egli riunisce simbolicamente gli uomini della legge e gli uomini dalle genti. Secondo la tradizione Paolo scrisse due lettere a Timoteo e una a Tito quando erano rispettivamente vescovi di Efeso e di Creta. Sono le uniche due lettere del Nuovo Testamento indirizzate non a comunità, ma a persone. L’apostolo, ormai anziano, si lascia finalmente andare ad annotazioni ricche di affetto verso i suoi due discepoli nella fiducia di aver messo nelle giuste mani l’annuncio del Vangelo del Signore. Secondo Benedetto XVI,Timoteo e Tito «ci insegnano a servire il Vangelo con generosità e a essere i primi nelle opere buone».
 
Martirologio Romano: Memoria dei santi Timoteo e Tito, vescovi, che, discepoli di san Paolo Apostolo e suoi collaboratori nel ministero, furono l’uno a capo della Chiesa di Efeso, l’altro di quella di Creta; ad essi sono indirizzate le Lettere dalle sapienti raccomandazioni per l’istruzione dei pastori e dei fedeli.

Il 26 di gennaio la Chiesa celebra la memoria liturgica di:

San TIMOTEO, Vescovo

Timoteo, di padre pagano e di madre ebreo-cristiana, Eunice, fu discepolo e collaboratore di san Paolo e da lui preposto alla comunità ecclesiale di Efeso.

San TITO, Vescovo

Tito, anch’egli compagno di san Paolo nell’attività missionaria, fu posto alla guida della Chiesa di Creta.

I due discepoli sono destinatari di tre lettere ‘pastorali’ dell’apostolo, che fanno intravedere i primi lineamenti dei ministeri nella Chiesa.


I due Santi sono frutto prezioso della predicazione e dell'opera del grande apostolo delle genti. Paolo li ha convertiti, se li è allevati con amore cristiano e paterno e ne ha fatto dei fari luminosi e delle guide per l'umanità.

Paolo incontra il giovane Timoteo per la prima volta a Listri; egli è figlio di una ebrea e di un pagano; è stato educato nel culto delle Sacre Scritture. Ascoltando l'apostolo e vedendo le opere straordinarie da lui compiute,

Timoteo si converte e viene battezzato da Paolo che lo prende con sé. Tutta la sua vita di giovane e di uomo sarà associata a quella di Paolo, di cui diventerà figlio, collaboratore, compagno di viaggio, confidente, amico, erede.

Tito è di famiglia greca, ancora pagana, ed è convertito dall'apostolo in uno dei suoi viaggi apostolici; viene ben presto scelto da Paolo come collaboratore, compagno e fratello nell'apostolato.

Attraverso Timoteo e Tito l'apostolo ha potuto incarnare quello che è il centro della sua particolare predicazione: la fede in Cristo libera dalla legge, anche se la salvezza viene dai giudei, dalla stirpe di Davide. Ciò che fa la vera elezione è una buona coscienza e la fede in Dio realizzata con le opere della carità. È un concetto ignoto al mondo pagano e ignorato dagli ebrei che fanno dipendere la salvezza dalla circoncisione prescritta da Mosè.

Paolo circoncide il discepolo Timoteo e non circoncide l'altro discepolo Tito, che pure porta con sé a Gerusalemme davanti al Concilio degli apostoli. Così nei suoi due collaboratori Paolo circoncisione e gli uomini della non-circoncisione; gli uomini della legge e gli uomini della fede.

Paolo ha scritto due Lettere a Timoteo e una a Tito quando questi discepoli erano uno vescovo di Efeso e l'altro di Creta. Sono le uniche Lettere della Scrittura indirizzate a un individuo, con annotazioni molto personali, ricche di ripetizioni e di abbandono, quasi che il vecchio Paolo, mentre istruisce, si confidi e si compiaccia dei giovani rampolli; i quali non l'hanno deluso, fedeli nel servizio, attingendo forza nella grazia che è in Cristo Gesù, rimanendo saldi in quello che avevano imparato e di cui erano convinti, ben sapendo da chi l'avevano appreso.



San Timoteo Vescovo


sec. I

Timoteo, di padre pagano e di madre ebreo-cristiana, Eunice, fu discepolo e collaboratore di san Paolo e da lui preposto alla comunità ecclesiale di Efeso. I due discepoli (Timoteo e Tito) sono destinatari di tre lettere ‘pastorali’ dell’apostolo, che fanno intravedere i primi lineamenti dei ministeri nella Chiesa. (Mess. Rom.)

Etimologia: Timoteo = colui che onora Dio, dal greco

Emblema: Bastone pastorale

Martirologio Romano: Memoria dei santi Timoteo e Tito, vescovi, che, discepoli di san Paolo Apostolo e suoi collaboratori nel ministero, furono l’uno a capo della Chiesa di Efeso, l’altro di quella di Creta; ad essi sono indirizzate le Lettere dalle sapienti raccomandazioni per l’istruzione dei pastori e dei fedeli.

Timoteo viene dall’ebraismo e Tito dal mondo pagano. Lavorano con san Paolo, che li pilota ma non li oscura. E dà loro "la gloria di un perenne ricordo": così dice Eusebio di Cesarea nella sua Storia ecclesiastica, del IV secolo; e sarà ancora così nel XXI: tutta la Chiesa li onora insieme. Paolo “arruola” Timoteo a Listra (Asia Minore) nel suo secondo viaggio missionario. Ma lo conosceva da prima con sua madre e sua nonna, ebree, che si fanno cristiane con lui. Timoteo resta poi sempre con Paolo, salvo quando lui lo manda in missione nelle chiese che ha fondato, per correggere errori e mettere pace. Come fa a Tessalonica, con la sua aria di ragazzo fragile. Ma "nessuno disprezzi la tua giovane età", gli scrive Paolo nella prima delle due lettere personali. E ai cristiani di Corinto lo presenta così: "Vi ho mandato Timoteo, mio figlio diletto e fedele nel Signore: vi richiamerà alla memoria le vie che vi ho insegnato".

Dopo la prima carcerazione di Paolo a Roma, Timoteo prende la guida dei disorientati cristiani di Efeso, ai quali l’Apostolo aveva già scritto dalla prigione: "Scompaia da voi ogni maldicenza, ira, clamore, asprezza".
Non sono compiti facili: Paolo lo butta tra ogni sorta di problemi, errori, conflitti, aggravati da avventurieri, falsi profeti, pii confusionari. Lo manda a lottare; ma si dà pena anche della sua salute: "Smetti di bere soltanto acqua, ma fa’ uso di un po’ di vino, a causa dello stomaco e delle tue frequenti indisposizioni". 

Paolo scrive la seconda lettera a Timoteo stando di nuovo in carcere, in attesa della morte: "Cerca di venire presso di me". Molti infatti lo hanno abbandonato; il fedele Tito si trova in Dalmazia; il freddo lo fa soffrire, e lui raccomanda a Timoteo: "Portami il mantello che ho lasciato a Troade". 

Dopo il martirio di Paolo, Timoteo continua a guidare la chiesa di Efeso fino alla morte, che una tradizione colloca nell’anno 97. L’ultima notizia di lui ce l’ha data Paolo alla vigilia del martirio. "Tito è in Dalmazia". Poi, più nulla.

Autore:
Domenico Agasso


San Tito Vescovo


sec. I

Tito, anch’egli compagno di san Paolo nell’attività missionaria, fu posto alla guida della Chiesa di Creta. I due discepoli (Timoteo e Tito) sono destinatari di tre lettere ‘pastorali’ dell’apostolo, che fanno intravedere i primi lineamenti dei ministeri nella Chiesa. (Mess. Rom.)

Etimologia: Tito = (forse) il difensore, dal latino

Emblema: Bastone pastorale

Martirologio Romano: Memoria dei santi Timoteo e Tito, vescovi, che, discepoli di san Paolo Apostolo e suoi collaboratori nel ministero, furono l’uno a capo della Chiesa di Efeso, l’altro di quella di Creta; ad essi sono indirizzate le Lettere dalle sapienti raccomandazioni per l’istruzione dei pastori e dei fedeli.

Timoteo viene dall’ebraismo e Tito dal mondo pagano. Lavorano con san Paolo, che li pilota ma non li oscura. E dà loro "la gloria di un perenne ricordo": così dice Eusebio di Cesarea nella sua Storia ecclesiastica, del IV secolo; e sarà ancora così nel XXI: tutta la Chiesa li onora insieme. 

Da Paolo a Tito: "Questo devi insegnare, raccomandare e rimproverare con tutta autorità". Ecco l’altro grande evangelizzatore al fianco dell’Apostolo. Tito è greco, un pagano convertito (forse da Paolo stesso). "Mio compagno e collaboratore", come scrive l’Apostolo nella seconda lettera ai Corinzi. Compagno di momenti importanti: come la famosa riunione nota come concilio di Gerusalemme, con lo scontro tra nostalgici delle consuetudini rituali ebraiche e le necessità nuove e diverse dell’evangelizzazione nel mondo pagano. Tito, poi, è anche mediatore persuasivo, ed entusiasma Paolo risolvendo una grave crisi tra lui e i Corinzi. E lo vediamo efficiente manager, quando dirige e porta a termine la prima grande iniziativa di solidarietà fra le Chiese: la famosa colletta per i poveri di Gerusalemme. Quando è morto Tito? Non lo sappiamo. L’ultima notizia di lui ce l’ha data Paolo alla vigilia del martirio. "Tito è in Dalmazia". Poi, più nulla.

Autore:
Domenico Agasso