Contemplata aliis Tradere

A meagre contribution to the mission and work of the Order of Preachers: my reflections, thoughts, ideas and the occasional rant on matters mainly theological, philosophical and ecclesiastical, drawn primarily from my reading and experience of life and the world. Striving to be always Catholic, firmly Christian and essentially Dominican, flavoured with dashes of Von Balthasar.

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Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

A son of the English Province of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans); born in Malaysia but have lived in the USA, Singapore, the UK & the Philippines for varying durations. A pilgrim and way-farer, a searcher for Truth on the journey of Life... "Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!" - Hilaire Belloc

Thursday, January 26, 2006

O Fathers of our Ancient Faith

St Timothy and St Titus are named in the Scriptures as co-workers with St Paul, who calls them "beloved and faithful child in the Lord" and "loyal child in the faith we share". Letters believed to be from Paul are addressed to them in the Pastoral Epistles but little else is known about them apart from the sketchy biograhical details alluded to in the Scriptures. That is often the case with many of the early apostles and their disciples... not because they were not courageous and holy men but possibly because as good messengers of the Word, they were not important; what was vital, the only Biography that counted, was the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Tradition, coming from Eusebius, holds that Timothy was the first bishop of Ephesus, that town where St John and Our Lady is believed to have lived out their final days. According to later fourth or fifth-century accounts, Timothy was clubbed to death by worshippers of Dionysius when he opposed their idolatry during their festival of Katagogia. His relics were translated to Constantinople. Titus is believed to have ended his days in Crete and was their first bishop and indeed the letter to him from Paul instructs him to govern the Cretans with a firm hand! We don't know if such firmness may have led to his martyrdom and his manner of death is unknown. His body was buried in Crete but his head was taken by the marauding Venetians (again!) in 823 to Venice.

It is fitting that we honour these "fathers of our ancient faith" and join in festal song with the Office Hymn of Apostles, Aeterna Christi Munera, in acclaiming that, "Theirs was the steadfast faith of saints, the hope that never yields nor faints, the love of Christ in perfect glow, that lay the prince of this world low."


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