Category Archives: Saint Paul

Conversion of Saint Paul

Gladly will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

Conversion of St Paul HSpeckaert.jpg

Among the biblical readings from today’s liturgy there is the celebrated text of St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians in which the Church is compared to the human body. The Apostle writes: “As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). The Church is understood as a body, which forms with Christ, who is the head, one single whole. Nevertheless, what the Apostle wishes to communicate is the idea of unity in the multiplicity of charisms, which are the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Thanks to these gifts the Church presents itself as a rich — and not a uniform — living organism, the fruit of the one Spirit who leads all into a profound unity, assuming the differences without abolishing them and realizing a harmonious ensemble. It prolongs the presence of the risen Lord in history, especially through the Sacraments, the Word of God, the charisms and the offices distributed in the community. For this reason, it is precisely in Christ and in the Spirit that the Church is one and holy, that is, an intimate communion that transcends and sustains human capacities.

I would like to emphasize this aspect while we are observing the “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity,” which concludes tomorrow, the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. Following tradition, I will celebrate vespers in the afternoon in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, with the participation of representatives from the other Churches and ecclesial communities present in Rome. We will ask God for the gift of the complete unity of all the disciples of Christ and, in particular, according to this year’s theme, we will renew the commitment to being together witnesses of the crucified and risen Lord (cf. Luke 24:48). The communion of Christians, in fact, makes the proclamation of the Gospel more credible and efficacious, as Jesus himself said as he prayed to the Father on the eve of his death: “That they may be one … that the world might believe” (John 17:21).

(Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus Address, January 24, 2010; Image of the “Conversion of Saint Paul” by Hans Speckaert)

Each priest is intimately connected to St Paul, cardinal says

The priestly figure should not be detached from the
person of Paul. Saint Paul shows all of us a way of living, a way of creating a
relationship with God. The priesthood is a privileged way, and as such it is
not separated from all that Saint Paul himself is, what he teaches and tells us.
Therefore, I believe that this association and connection between the Year for
Priests and the Pauline Year is and will be very good and very important.

Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, emeritus archpriest of the
Basilica of St Paul outside the Walls

Closing the Year of Saint Paul, New Haven, CT … TONIGHT

St Paul cr.jpg

Saint Paul’s bones confirmed

Toe bone connected to the foot bone

Foot bone connected to the leg bone

Leg bone connected to the knee bone…

St Paul Sarcophagus.jpg

The Church has confirmed the millennia reverence of the bones in Saint Paul’s sarcophagus are in fact those of the Apostle to the Gentiles. At the close of the Pauline Year this is terrific news for all people. The witness of Paul’s life –and now his bones– makes Christian faith credible because of the physical connection we have with such a great man as the Apostle.

The Pope said: “Small fragments of bone were found and radiocarbon dated by experts who did not know their place of origin. Results indicate that they belong to someone who lived between the 1st and 2nd century A.D. This seems to confirm the unanimous and undisputed tradition according to
which these are the mortal remains of the Apostle Paul. All this fills our soul with deep emotion.”

“The Pauline Year has come to an end, but being on the same path as Paul and, with him and thanks to him, know Jesus and, like him, be enlightened and transformed by the Gospel, will always be part of Christian existence,” the Pontiff said.

I highly recommend reading the Asia News story

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul

Sts Peter and Paul.jpg

Peter, blest Shepherd! hearken to our cry,

And with a word unloose our guilty chain;

Thou who hast power to open the gates on high

To men below, and power to shut them fast again.

O thou great Doctor, Paul, we here beseech of thee

Lead thou our spirits up to heavenly mystery,

Tills ends the partial knowledge that to us is given

While here below, and we receive the fuller light in heaven.

May everlasting honor, power, and glory be

And jubilation, to the Holy Trinity,

The One God, ever ruling all things mightily,

Throughout all endless ages of eternity. Amen.


God, Who has made holy this day with the martyrdom of Thine Apostles Peter and
Paul, grant that Thy Church may in all things follow the precepts of those from
whom it first received the faith.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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