+ Saul was a faithful Pharisee who was born in Tarsus. Entrusted with a formal mission by the high priest, Saul departed for Damascus, intending to arrest Christians in that city and bring them to Jerusalem for trial.
+ As Saul was nearing the city, a light from heaven suddenly blazed around him and an immediate transformation took place in the soul of Saul, who would become known as “Paul.”
+ In his many letters, Saint Paul never always recalled the moment of his conversion with deep gratitude for the mercy and love shown by the Divine Master.
+ The Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul was first celebrated in France in the 6th century. It was introduced in Rome in the 11th century.
January 25 marks the conclusion of the annual Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity. This observance was begun by the Graymoor Franciscan Friars in 1908 and is an invitation for all Christians to reflect on and pray for the unity of the Church.
“We are only Christians if we encounter Christ, even if He does not reveal Himself to us as clearly and irresistibly as he did to Paul in making him the Apostle of the Gentiles.”—Pope Benedict XVI
O God, who taught the whole world
through the preaching of the blessed Apostle Paul,
draw us, we pray, nearer to you
through the example of him whose conversion we celebrate today,
and so make us witnesses to your truth in the world.
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)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.