Tag Archives: St Paul

1,400 year old fresco of St Paul found

new fresco of St paul.jpgThe religious and art worlds are abuzz with the latest find: an early 6th century image of the Apostle Paul in Naples. The discovery happened in the Catacombs of San Gennaro.

Gianfranco Cardinal Ravasi said “The image of Saint Paul has an intense expression, philosophical and its discovery enriches our image of one of the principal apostles.”
The story of the new image is found in the culture section of L’Osservatore Romano.
Watch the video story from Rome Reports.
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Christianity is not a community closed-in on itself, Pope tells us about Unity among Christians

The Pope’s homily for Vespers at the Basilica of Saint Paul’s Outside the Walls for the feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul and the closing of Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. A video clip of the event.

Pope Benedict SPFLM.jpg

Following the
example of Jesus, who on the eve of his Passion prayed to the Father for his
disciples “that they may all be one” (John 17:21), Christians
continue to invoke incessantly from God the gift of this unity. This request is
made more intense during the Week of Prayer, which ends today, when the
Churches and ecclesial Communities meditate and pray together for the unity of
all Christians.

This year the theme offered for our meditation was proposed by
the Christian communities of Jerusalem, to which I would like to express by heartfelt
gratitude, accompanied by the assurance of affection and prayer either on my
part or on that of the whole of the Church. The Christians of the Holy City
invite us to renew and 

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Conversion of Saint Paul

Conv of St Paul Fra Angelico c 1430 Missal 558.jpg

In Paul what is pointed out theologically was also brought about physically: healed of his inner blindness, he sees clearly. Thus St Paul was not transformed by a thought but by an event, by the irresistible presence of the Risen One whom subsequently he would never be able to doubt, so powerful had been the evidence of the event, of this encounter. It radically  changed Paul’s life in a fundamental way; in this sense one can and must speak of a conversion. This encounter is the centre St Luke’s account for which it is very probable that he used an account that may well have originated in the community of Damascus.

Pope Benedict XVI
3 September 2008


Saint Paul’s conversion: in weakness we are thus strong

“Hear the signs of true believers–
Satan cast out in my name,
Unknown tongues are clearly spoken,
And the sick their health reclaim!
Go and tell the world my gospel;
Those denying, faith have waived.
Washed in waters of baptism,
Those believing will be saved.”

For the deed of Paul’s conversion,
Thanks and praise we render you,
That your mercy, not our merit,
Brings salvation strong and true.
As you called him from his sinning
To a new, abundant life,
Teach us self to now abandon,
Thus forsaking sin and strife.

Glory to the God and Father
Of Christ Jesus, living Lord;
Glory to the Son, our Savior,
Risen Victor, e’er adored;
Glory to the Holy Spirit,
Moving us with one accord
Thus to shout with hearts and voices
“Yes! Christ Jesus is the Lord!”

J. Michael Thompson
Copyright © 2009, World Library Publications

The image of Saint Paul is by Catarino


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)

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]yahoo.com.
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