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About this Commemoration
Timothy and Silas are mentioned in The Acts of the Apostles.Timothy’s father was Greek and his mother a Jewish believer. Paul chose him as a companion for his mission to Asia Minor but had him circumcised because the “Jews who were in those places” knew that his father was a Greek (Acts 16:1–3). Timothy undertook missions to the Thessalonians, Corinthians and the Ephesians. Eusebius counts him as the first bishop of that city.
Silas is known by his Latinized name Silvanus when Paul cites him as his companion along with Timothy (1 & 2 Thessalonians 1:1). He was a prophet in the Jerusalem church (Acts 15:22–35), but also a Roman citizen (Acts 16:37–8). He went with Paul and Barnabas to deliver the decision of the apostolic council in Jerusalem (Acts 15:1–21) that Gentile believers did not have to observe the law of Moses. Paul chose Silas to accompany him on missions to Asia Minor and Macedonia where he may have remained after Paul left (Acts 15:41–18:5). Tradition has it that he died there after some years of missionary work.
Titus, a Greek, accompanied Paul to Jerusalem for the apostolic council. During Paul’s third missionary journey Titus was sent on missions to Corinth from which he gave Paul encouraging reports (2 Corinthians 7:13–15). Paul, who calls him: “my true child in the common faith”(Titus 1:14) left him to organize the church in Crete (Titus 1:5) and Eusebius reports that he was the first bishop there.
These three are celebrated on the day after the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul because of their close connections with him. Though they were all young and inexperienced, they were entrusted with missions and matters that helped form the very life and history of the Church. Faithfulness, love and devotion to Christ saw them through situations they could not have imagined.
i Just and merciful God, who in every generation hast raised up prophets, teachers and witnesses to summon the world to honor and praise thy holy Name: We give thanks for the calling of Timothy, Titus and Silas, whose gifts built up thy Church in the power of the Holy Spirit. Grant that we, too, may be living stones built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ our Savior; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God now and for ever. Amen.
ii Just and merciful God, in every generation you raise up prophets, teachers and witnesses to summon the world to honor and praise your holy Name: We thank you for sending Timothy, Titus and Silas, whose gifts built up your Church by the power of the Holy Spirit. Grant that we too may be living stones built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ our Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Preface of Pentecost
Text from Holy, Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints © 2010 by The Church Pension Fund. Used by permission.
We invite your reflections about this commemoration and its suitability for the official calendar and worship of The Episcopal Church. How did this person’s life witness to the Gospel? How does this person inspire us in Christian life today?
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