Bishop and Confessor
Titus was a convert from heathenism, a disciple of St. Paul, one of the chosen companions of the Apostles in his journey to the Council of Jerusalem, and his fellow-laborers in many apostolic missions. From the Second Epistle which St. 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 the Corinthians, who were giving scandal and were 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 for the church at Jerusalem. St. Paul meanwhile was anxiously awaiting 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 Christians, 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. St. 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 St. Paul himself, who “abundantly rejoiced in the joy of Titus.”
Virgin and Martyr
Dorothy was a young virgin, celebrated at Caesarea, where she lived, for her angelic virtue. Her parents seem to have been martyred before her in the Diocletian persecution, and when the Governor Sapricius came to Caesarea he called her before him, and sent this child of martyrs to the home where they were waiting for her. She was stretched upon the rack, and offered marriage if she would consent to sacriﬁce, or death if she refused. But she replied that “Christ was her only Spouse, and death her desire.” She was then placed in charge of two Women who had fallen away from the faith, in the hope that they might pervert her; but the ﬁre of her own heart rekindled the ﬂame in theirs, and led them back to Christ.
When she was set once more on the rack, Sapricius himself was amazed at the heavenly look she wore, and asked her the cause of her joy. “Because,” she said, “I have brought back two souls to Christ, and because I shall soon be in heaven rejoicing with the angels.” Her joy grew as she was buffeted in the face and her sides burned with plates of red-hot iron. “Blessed be Thou,” she cried, when she was sentenced to be beheaded,“blessed be Thou, O Thou Lover of souls! Who dost call me to Paradise, and invitest me to Thy nuptial chamber.” St. Dorothy suffered in the dead of winter, and it is said that on the road to her passion a lawyer called Theophilus, who had been used to calumniate and persecute the Christians, asked her, in mockery, to send him “apples or roses from the garden of her Spouse.” The Saint promised to grant his request, and, just before she died, a little child stood by her side bearing three apples and three roses. She bade him take them to Theophilus and tell him this was the present which he sought from the garden of her Spouse. St. Dorothy had gone to heaven, and Theophilus was still making merry over his challenge to the Saint when the child entered his room. He saw that the child was an angel in disguise, and the fruit and ﬂowers of no earthly growth. He was converted to the faith, and then shared in the martyrdom of St. Dorothy.
Bishop and Confessor
Double White vestments
Commemoration of St. Dorothy
INTROIT – Ecclesiasticus 45: 30
Statuit ei Dominus testamentum pacis, et principem fecit eum: ut sit illi sacerdotii dignitas in æternum.
Ps. 131: 1. Memento Domine, David: et omnis mansuetudinus ejus. Gloria Patri.
O God, who didst adorn blessed Titus, Thy Confessor and Bishop, with apostolic virtues; grant that through his merits and prayers, we may live justly and piously in this world, and thereby made worthy to arrive at our heavenly country. Through our Lord.
COMMEMORATION of St Dorothy
O Almighty and everlasting God, who dost choose the weak things of the world to confound the strong: mercifully grant that we who keep the solemn feast of blessed Dorothy, Thy Virgin and Martyr, may experience the benefit of her pleading with Thee. Through our Lord.
EPISTLE – Ecclesiasticus 44: 16-27; 45: 3-20
Behold, a great priest, who in his days pleased God, and was found just; and in the time of wrath he was made a reconciliation. There was not found the like to him who kept the law of the most High. Therefore by an oath the Lord made him to increase among his people He gave him the blessing of all nations, and confirmed His covenant upon his head. He acknowledged him in His blessings; He preserved for him His mercy; and he found grace before the eyes of the Lord. He glorified him in the sight of kings, and gave him a crown of glory. He made an everlasting covenant with him, and gave him a great priesthood: and made him blessed in glory. To execute the office of the priesthood, and to have praised in His name, and to offer him a worthy incense for an odour of sweetness.
GRADUAL – Ecclus 44: 66, 20
Behold a great priest, who in his days pleased God. There was not found the like to him, who kept the law of the Most High.
ALLELUIA – Psalm 109: 4
Alleluia, alleluia. Thou art a priest forever according to the order of Melchisedech.
GOSPEL – Luke 10: 1-9
At that time, the Lord appointed also other seventy-two; and He sent them two and two before His face into every city and place whither He Himself was to come. And He said to them: The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that He send labourers into His harvest. Go, behold I send you as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes; and salute no man by the way. Into whatsoever house you enter, first say: Peace be to this house: and if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon him: but if not, it shall return to you. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they have: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Remove not from house to house. And into what city soever you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you; and heal the sick that are therein; and say to them: The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.
OFFERTORY – Psalm 88: 22
I have found David My servant, with My holy oil I have anointed him: for My hand shall help him, and My arm shall strengthen him.
May Thy Saints, we beseech Thee, O Lord, in all places bring us joy; that while we recall their merits, we may experience their patronage. Through our Lord.
COMMEMORATION of St Dorothy
O Lord, graciously receive the oblations which we offer up to Thee; and by the intercession of blessed Dorothy, Thy Virgin and Martyr, loose the bonds of our sins. Through our Lord.
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, eternal God: through Christ our Lord. through Whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, Dominations worship, Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the Heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with them we entreat Thee, that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted, while we say in lowly praise:
COMMUNION – Luke 12: 42
The faithful and wise servant, whom his lord setteth over his family: to give them their measure of wheat in due season.
Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that, we who give thanks for the gifts we have received, may through the intercession of blessed Titus, Thy Confessor and Bishop, obtain still greater blessings. Through our Lord.
COMMEMORATION of St Dorothy
We who have been refreshed with heavenly food and drink, humbly entreat Thee, O our God, that we may be defended by the prayers of her in whose memory we have partaken of these mysteries. Through our Lord.