Missionary and Bishop (First Century)
+ Silas is first mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, where he is called “one of the leading men of the brotherhood” and he was chosen to carry a letter from the Apostles in Jerusalem to Gentile Christians in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia.
+ After Paul and Barnabas quarreled and separated (Acts 15:36-40), Silas accompanied Paul on his travels. At Philippi Paul and Silas were beaten and imprisoned together before being miraculously delivered from prison (Acts 16:16-34).
+ Silas is mentioned again in the letters of both Saint Paul and Saint Peter, who using the Roman form of his name—Silvanus—calls him “a trusted brother” (1 Peter 5:12).
+ Nothing else is known of the life and ministry of Silas, but it is clear that he was an important leader in the early Church.
+ According to tradition, Silas died in Macedonia and, according to some traditions, he is said to have served as bishop of Corinth.
For prayer and reflection
“Paul does not act as a “soloist”, on his own, but together with [Barnabas and Silas] in the “we” of the Church. This “I” of Paul is not an isolated “I” but an “I” in the “we” of the Church, in the “we” of the apostolic faith. And later, Silvanus is also mentioned in the First Letter of Peter, in which we read: “I have written [briefly] to you… by Silvanus, a faithful brother” (5: 12). Thus, we also see the communion of the Apostles. Silas/Silvanus serves Paul and he serves Peter, because the Church is one and the missionary proclamation is one.”—Pope Benedict XVI
On July 13, the Church celebrates the commemoration of the Holy Roman Emperor Saint Henry II. Known as a fair and faithful monarch, he worked for the reform of the Church throughout the empire, particularly by supporting the work of monastic reformers. Because of his association with the Benedictine Order, he is honored as one of the patron saints of Benedictine oblates.
O God, who gave increase to your Church through the zeal for religion and apostolic labors of blessed Silas, grant, through his intercession, that she may always receive new growth in faith and in holiness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Pastors—For a Missionary)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.