Timothy was a native of Lystra in Asia Minor, the son of a Greek father and a Jewish mother who was a believer. We learn from the Acts of the Apostles that “he was well spoken of by the brethren at Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him; and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.” (Acts 16:1–3). In addition to being a devoted companion of Paul, Timothy was entrusted with missions to the Thessalonians, to encourage them under persecution, and to the Corinthians, to strengthen the converts in the faith. Timothy became Paul’s representative at Ephesus, and, according to Eusebius, the first bishop of that city.
Titus was, like Timothy, a companion of Paul, who calls him“my true child in the common faith” (Titus 1:4). Titus, a Greek, accompanied Paul and Barnabas from Antioch to Jerusalem at the time of the apostolic council. During Paul’s third missionary journey, Titus was sent on urgent missions to Corinth. Paul writes, “And besides our own comfort we rejoice still more at the joy of Titus because his mind has been set at rest by you all... And his heart goes out all the more to you, as he remembers the obedience of you all and the fear and trembling with which you received him” (2 Corinthians 7:13, 15).
Later, Titus was entrusted with the organization of the Church in Crete, where Eusebius reports he was the first bishop. Paul writes, “This is why I left you in Crete, that you might amend what was defective and appoint presbyters in every town as I directed you” (Titus 1:5).
As companions of Paul, Timothy and Titus are commemorated together close to the feast of Paul’s conversion. Paul several times mentions their youth, while entrusting them with great responsibilities in administration and in the proclaiming of the Gospel, a reminder that not age but faithfulness, care, and the love of Christ are the important qualities for Christian leadership.