Daily Reading for January 26 • Timothy, Titus, and Silas, Companions of St. Paul
Three young companions of St. Paul are commemorated together on the day after the festival of Paul’s conversion. Thus the church is reminded that not age but love of Christ and faithful care of the church are the important qualities for Christian witness in the world. . . .
Timothy was apparently the bearer of Paul’s letter to Corinth. . . . While at Corinth, Timothy preached the same message as had Paul and Silas, but the problems of that church remained. Because his father was a Gentile, Timothy was sent to strengthen Gentile churches, for he seemed to have their confidence. Paul seems to have sent his young companion ahead to prepare for Paul’s visit to Macedonia and Achaia and later to Jerusalem. . . . John of Damascus says that Timothy, the first bishop of Ephesus, witnessed Mary’s assumption. According to tradition, Timothy was beaten and stoned to death in 97 CE under Nerva because he opposed heathen worship. . . .
Timothy had delivered First Corinthians. The bearer of Second Corinthians is Titus, who seems to be Paul’s new deputy. He plays an important role in the Corinthian correspondence from this point on. . . . He was born of Gentile parents and was perhaps a native of Antioch, since he was in the delegation from Antioch to Jerusalem, and he may have been converted by Paul. He and a companion were sent to Corinth after 1 Corinthians had been delivered there, because of reports Paul had received about that troublesome church. . . . The epistle to Titus gives the information that Titus had been left on Crete to oversee the organization of the churches there. Titus’s mission to Dalmatia is alluded to in 2 Timothy 4:10. Tradition says that Titus lived in Crete as the first bishop of Gortyna and died there at the age of 93. . . .
Silas was a leader in the church at Jerusalem (Acts 15:22) who was sent with Paul to tell the Christians of Antioch of the decision of the Jerusalem Council concerning Gentile Christians. Paul chose Silas to replace John Mark on the second missionary journey when Mark and Barnabas left, and so Silas was one of the first Christian missionaries on the continent of Europe. Paul and Silas were imprisoned together at Philippi, and Silas was with Paul during the riot at Thessalonica. . . . Silas-Silvanus was probably the Silvanus who delivered First Peter (5:12); some say he was the author of 1 Peter or at least the amanuensis. Legend says that he was bishop of Corinth and that he died in Macedonia.
From New Book of Festivals and Commemorations: A Proposed Calendar of Saints by Philip H. Pfatteicher (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2008).