Titus was a convert from heathenism, a disciple of Saint Paul, one of the chosen companions of the Apostle in his journey to the Council of Jerusalem, and his fellow-laborer in many apostolic missions. From the second epistle which Saint Paul sent by the hand of Titus to the Corinthians we gain an insight into his character, and understand the strong affection which his master bore him. Titus had been commissioned to carry out a twofold office, needing much firmness, discretion, and charity. He was to be the bearer of a severe rebuke to tlie Corinthians, who were giving scandal and wavering in their faith; and at the same time he was to put their charity to a further test by calling upon them for abundant alms ior the church at Jerusalem. Saint Paul meanwhile anxiously awaited the result. At Troas he writes, “I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus, my brother.” He set sail to Macedonia. Here at last Titus brought the good news. His success had been complete. He reported the sorrow, the zeal, the generosity of the Corinthians, till the Apostle could not contain his joy, and sent back to them his faithful messenger with the letter of comfort from which we have quoted. Titus was finally left as a bishop in Crete, and here he in turn received the epistle which bears his name, and here at last he died in peace.
The mission of Titus to Corinth shows us how well the disciple caught the spirit of his Master. He knew how to be firm and to inspire respect. The Corinthians, we are told, “received him with fear and trembling.” He was patient and painstaking. Saint Paul “gave thanks to God who had put such carefulness for them in the heart of Titus.” And these gifts were enhanced by a quickness to detect and call out all that was good in others, and by a joyousness which overflowed upon the spirit of Saint Paul himself, who ” abundantly rejoiced in the joy of Titus.”
Reflection – Saints win their empire over the hearts of men by their wide and affectionate sympathy. This was the characteristic gift of Saint Titus, as it was of Saint Paul, Saint Francis Xavier, and many others.