Tuesday, February 28, 2012


St. Titus

Feast day: January 26
Died: 96

A disciple and companion of St. Paul to whom the great saint addressed one of his letters. Paul referred to Titus as "my true child in our common faith". Not mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, he was noted in Galatians where Paul writes of journeying to Jerusalem with Barnabas, accompanied by Titus. He was then dispatched to Corinth, Greece, where he successfully reconciled the Christian community there with Paul, its founder. Titus was later left on the island of Crete to help organize the Church, although he soon went to Dalmatia, Croatia. According to Eusebius of Caesarea in the Ecclesiastical Histor y, he served as the first bishop of Crete. He was buried in Cortyna (Gortyna), Crete; his head was later translated to Venice during the invasion of Crete by the Saracens in 832 and was enshrined in St. Mark’s, Venice, Italy.

 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

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