Ordinary Time: January 26th
Memorial of Sts. Timothy and Titus, bishops
Old Calendar: St. Polycarp, bishop and martyr; St. José Gabriel Brochero (new)
St. Timothy, born in Galatia in Asia Minor, was baptized and later ordained to the priesthood by St. Paul. The young Galatian became Paul's missionary companion and his most beloved spiritual son. St. Paul showed his trust in this disciple by consecrating him bishop of the great city of Ephesus. St. Timothy was stoned to death thirty years after St. Paul's martyrdom for having denounced the worship of the goddess Diana. In the 1962 Missal, St. Timothy's feast is celebrated on January 24 and the feast of St. Titus is on February 6.St. Titus, a convert from paganism, was a fellow laborer of St. Paul on many apostolic missions. St. Paul later made him bishop of Crete, a difficult charge because of the character of the inhabitants and the spread of erroneous doctrines on that island. St. Paul's writings tell us that St. Titus rejoiced to discover what was good in others and drew the hearts of men by his wide and affectionate sympathy. Today is also the feast of St. Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero, a Roman Catholic Argentinian priest who suffered leprosy throughout his life. He is known for his extensive work with the poor and the sick. He became affectionately known as "the Gaucho priest" and the "cowboy priest". Pope Francis canonized Saint Brochero in 2016.According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Polycarp, which is now celebrated in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite on February 23.
Timothy was Paul's dearest disciple, his most steadfast associate. He was converted during the apostle's first missionary journey. When Paul revisited Lystra, Timothy, though still very young (about twenty) joined him as a co-worker and companion. Thereafter, there existed between them a most intimate bond, as between father and son. St. Paul calls him his beloved child, devoted to him "like a son to his father" (Phil. 2:22). Of a kindly disposition, unselfish, prudent, zealous, he was a great consolation to Paul, particularly in the sufferings of his later years. He also assisted the apostle in the establishment of all the major Christian communities and was entrusted with missions of highest importance. Timothy was with Paul during his first Roman imprisonment. Paul made his self-sacrificing companion bishop of Ephesus, but the finest monument left him by his master are the two canonical Epistles bearing his name.
- No one understood the heart of St. Paul better than St. Timothy. His finest legacy is the two epistles he wrote to Timothy. Today would be an opportune occasion to study these epistles and to apply personally the high ideals proposed.
- Look up the descriptions St. Paul gives of his traveling companion, Tim: 1, Cor. 4:17, Phil. 2:19-20, Rom. 16:21, and 2 Tim. 1:4-5.
- Pray that the Church may be blessed with bishops, priests, and deacons, endowed with all those qualifications St. Paul requires from the dispensers of the mysteries of God. Say the following invocation frequently: "Jesus, Savior of the world, sanctify Thy priests and sacred ministers."
St. Titus, a pagan by birth, became one of St. Paul's most illustrious disciples. He accompanied the apostle on several of his missionary journeys and was entrusted with important missions. Finally he came with St. Paul to the island of Crete, where he was appointed bishop. He performed this duty in accordance with the admonition given him, ". . . in all things show yourself an example of good works" (Tit. 2:7).
- St. Paul left a worthy monument to Titus, his faithful disciple, in his letter. Read this letter.
- Even though St. Timothy and Titus were disciples, bake some apostle cookies and adapt them for this feast.
St. José Gabriel Brochero
St. José Gabriel is known in Argentina as the “cowboy priest.” This gaucho, as local cattle-herders are known, served a large parish spread over miles of mountainous terrain.
In these tasks St. José found a space of communion in labor with his parishioners and a solid imitation of his patron, St. Joseph. He worked to build roads, schools, and to get mail and telegraph couriers for the good of the people. In his letter to those gathered for the beatification ceremony, Pope Francis said: “This shepherd who smelled of sheep became poor among the poor.”St. José Gabriel was born in 1840, the same year of birth as St. Damien of Molokai. Like Damien, José Gabriel served those who were considered untouchable, the lepers, and like Damien he died a leper. He continued to pray and offer Mass although ill and blind. His “going out” was a complete emptying of self. Pope Francis wrote: “Brochero did not stay in the parish offices: he would exhaust himself riding his mule and he ended up being sick with leprosy.” St. José Gabriel died January 26, 1914.The beatification ceremony at Cordoba was attended by close to 150,000 people, including three thousand gauchos wearing the traditional ponchos of the Argentine cowboy. This priest was a lone ranger when he had to be and, like his Divine Master, was brave, courageous, and bold. Excerpted from Dominican Friars | Province of St. JosephThings to Do:
"He practices the gospel. Are you missing a carpenter? He’s a carpenter. Are you missing a laborer? He’s a laborer. He rolls up his cassock wherever he is, takes the shovel or hoe and opens a public road in 15 days aided by his parishioners."