Memorizing the names of the books of the New Testament seems as if it would be an error free exercise. Last year with half of this year’s senior boys, we learned the titles of the 21 Epistles by using the following to remember the first letter of each Book:
R C Cola…..GEP-C, not Pepsi…..TTTTT….Peanut Butter, no Butter, Honey, Jelly; then we just remembered Peter, Peter, John, John, John, Jude.

Whenever we would practice these, I would tell the junior girls that Titus is buried in Venice. I had learned this Titusic fact from reading a book I have. Through repetition, the burial city of Titus became famous information among the juniors, rivalling that Ash Wednesday has never fallen on February 29th, but it will in 2096. [It is now the goal of some of the juniors to make it to 2096.] Two days ago I decided to google “Titus’ Burial Place” to see a picture of his tomb. There was no picture, not even a suggestion that Titus was buried in Venice.

Reading more revealed that Titus was originally buried on Crete where he was the first bishop. I began to get worried. More reading said that the head of Titus was sent for safekeeping to Venice in the 900’s because of Saracen threats. The head was put in St. Mark’s Cathedral. OK, that part of St. Titus is buried in Venice was enough to make what had been taught still accurate. More reading then revealed that in 1966 the head of St. Titus was returned to Crete. Now, no part of the Saint is in Venice. Teaching wrong. I checked the copyright date of the book that had told me Venice was home to Titus. It was published in 1890. Maybe I should update my library.

So the next day in class, I told the girls that I had awful news. I revealed it slowly, still it was a blow. One girl mournfully said, “That’s the only thing I remember that you have taught us.” So mathematically speaking, her New Testament learning is -1.

I googled “Burial place of St. Titus in Crete” and a picture instantly popped up. His head [It seems that is all there is of him.] is kept in Agios Titos [St. Titus] in the city of Heraklion, the largest city on Crete.

Now I am just hoping that it really is the case that Ash Wednesday has never been on Leap Day and that 2096 will see the beginning of Lent on 2/29. Otherwise, that student’s NT learning may drop to -2.

Jezu, ufam Tobie