Saints Timothy and Titu

26 January

Sts. Timothy and Titus share a feast day (26th January) the day following the celebration of the conversion of St. Paul (25th January). References to these saints are found in the Acts of the Apostles and in three letters of St. Paul.

Timothy and Titus found a place in the history of the Early Church and are recorded in the Bible because they were two of the disciples following St. Paul, who after his conversion on the road to Damascus, traveled on missionary journeys to spread the Good News that the Risen Christ is the Son of God.
The spread of Christianity in the Early Church presented many challenges: hardships of traveling, the resolving of conflicts arising from different opinions, beliefs and cultures. Timothy and Titus faced all this together with Paul. Wherever Paul journeyed he appointed assistants from those who were accompanying him. These then became priests and bishops together with deacons to assist them, to continue evangelizing what had been started by Paul himself. This led to a local Church to be established. Both Timothy and Titus were called to fulfill these roles.

Timothy was born in Lystra, now part of present day Turkey. His mother Eunice and grandmother Lois were Jewish who had converted to Christianity. His father was a Greek gentile. Timothy grew up to be timid and reserved, believed to have  suffered from some form of poor health. Probably, as he was growing up, he was not accepted by neither the Christian nor  the Greek communities of Lystra. In his youth his mother and grandmother brought him to the Christian Faith. When Timothy met St. Paul when he came to Lystra on his second missionary journey, he left his house, his parents, his country, to follow and accompany Paul, together with Silas, on their journeys, stopping at several places to preach the message of Christianity. He had a close relationship with Paul, who refers to him as his “spiritual son”  and in a letter to the Philippians, he describes him by stating “ I have no one like him.” In AD64, Paul ordained Timothy as Bishop of Ephesus, to continue with the establishing of the Church there. Tradition holds that Timothy was stoned to death when he tried to stop a celebration to the goddess Diana by preaching the Gospel.

St. Titus was Greek, most probably a native of Crete. Tradition holds that he studied Greek philosophy and the ancient poets. It seems that he converted to Christianity when Paul visited Crete. Then he became Paul’s secretary and interpreter. He accompanied Paul on his journeys even when Paul traveled to Jerusalem for important meetings with the other Apostles. Titus has been described as a “peacemaker, an administrator and a missionary” while Paul described him as “ a true child of mine in the faith” and as a  “partner and fellow worker. When Paul moved on with his missionary journeys, he left Titus in Crete to “set” the Church there “in order”. Eventually Titus became the first Bishop of Crete. Titus was not a martyr, but he lived a long life and he died a natural death.

Studying and reading the Bible can help make us strong. This video looks at Timothy, who learned about God from his family and from his friend, Paul. Check o…

Discuss with the children what hardships Timothy and Titus had to deal with as they accompanied Paul on his journeys : – no means of easy transport – no phones, mobiles, laptops – no permanent homes – the little they could carry with them – money to buy food. – It was far from easy to carry out the mission of proclaiming Jesus.

  • We may point out that although we do not experience hardships like Timothy and Titus, we also meet with challenges as we try to do the right thing so that we remain faithful as followers of Jesus Christ.
  • Encourage them to give examples from their daily lives: at school – with friends – other situations. 
  • Explore with them how to deal and overcome these challenges.

Timothy and Titus, while being companions and offering support to St. Paul in his mission, found in him a teacher, a friend.

  • Explore with the children if they have such a person in their life:  a person they can trust – to guide them, who helps them in decision-making – in making choices – clears doubts, fears, anxiety.
  • Would a friend of their own age be able to give them all this?
  • If it has to be an adult who would it be?

For Family Prayer Time

  • Let us remember that there are many priests, nuns, lay people who travel to poor countries where they experience the same hardships as Timothy and Titus in their missionary work.
  • We ask God to continue giving these brave people the strength and courage to persevere in spreading the Word of God.
  • Encourage the children to make their own personal prayer

Consider looking at:
Paul meets Timothy
God’s Story : Timothy

How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Saints of the Church. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the holy life, helping you to connect the saints to daily life in a meaningful way.