Missionary Companion of Saint Paul: 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 is considered to have served as bishop of Corinth.
In modern biblical scholarship, Silas is among those who is proposed as a possible author (or source) for the Letter to the Hebrews (cf. Raymond Brown, An Introduction to the New Testament).
“About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God as the prisoners listened, there was suddenly such a severe earthquake that the foundations of the jail shook; all the doors flew open, and the chains of all were pulled loose.”—Acts 16:25-26
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.