St. Tychicus — He May Encourage Your Hearts

“Tychicus, my beloved brother, trustworthy minister, and fellow slave in the Lord, will tell you all the news of me. I am sending him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know about us and that he may encourage your hearts.” —Colossians 4:7–8

Gustave Doré, “St. Paul, imprisoned, ends the letter to the Ephesians, and hands it over to Tychicus,” 1886
Gustave Doré, “St. Paul, imprisoned, ends the letter to the Ephesians, and hands it over to Tychicus,” 1886 (photo: Public Domain)

Troas, Ephesus and Colossae, all of Asia Minor (Turkey), are the cities that St. Tychicus seems to have the strongest ties with in the New Testament. Tychicus is first introduced in the Bible within the Acts of the Apostles, in the midst of Paul’s third missionary journey. While Paul was traveling about in Greece, a discovered plot against him compelled him to flee. Tychicus, Aristarchus (Aug. 4), Timothy (Jan. 26) and a few other missionaries were with Paul during this time of threat and need for a prompt change of travel plans.

Evident from the Epistles is that Tychicus visited Paul in prison on at least one occasion, perhaps more. Paul was a prisoner (probably in Rome or Caesarea) when he wrote his Letter to the Ephesians, and he had Tychicus deliver it to the Church there. Paul’s last paragraph in the letter offers heartwarming words about Tychicus. He calls him “my beloved brother” and “trustworthy minister.” Paul also assured the Ephesians that Tychicus would update them on news of Paul’s ministry and bring encouragement to their hearts. These words strongly indicate that Tychicus was a person of loyal faith, someone who spent a lot of time with Paul, and a person with the correct heart for conveying messages of hope.

Paul was also in prison when he wrote a letter to the Church in Colossae. It is difficult to tell whether it was the same imprisonment during which he wrote his Letter to the Ephesians or a different one. Interestingly, Tychicus along with another Christian named Onesimus (Feb. 15) delivered this letter as well. This Letter to the Colossians also contains a closing message with words of great praise for Tychicus.

Some claim that Tychicus was the Bishop of Paphos in Cyprus, an island off the coast of Turkey.


Five Days of Bible Journaling with St. Tychicus

Try to imagine Tychicus with another Bible Saint — Onesimus — as together they delivered the letters to the Colossians and Philemon. St. Tychicus was a devoted friend to Paul, and Onesimus was a runaway slave. It must have been somewhat tense for Tychicus to be traveling with a fugitive! But, he did, and we Christians are now in the possession of two rich biblical letters—thanks in part to these two men! St. Tychicus’s memorial is April 29, and due to his deliveries to Ephesus and Colossae, he might be considered a patron of letter carriers and modern Turkey. The devotional below offers five days of study, reflection, and journaling on St. Tychicus.

  • Day 1) Acts 20:2–6
  • Day 2) Ephesians 6:21–22
  • Day 3) Colossians 4:7–9
  • Day 4) 2 Timothy 4:12
  • Day 5) Titus 3:12