Paul is the great apostle who first persecuted the Christians. Then he was converted. We celebrate Paul’s conversion on January 25. At the time of his conversion, Jesus had said: “I will show him how much he must suffer for me.” St. Paul loved Jesus very much, so much, in fact, that he became a living copy of our Savior. All his life, during his many missionary trips, St. Paul met troubles and went through dangers of every kind. He was whipped, stoned, shipwrecked, and lost at sea. Many, many times he was hungry, thirsty and cold.
Yet he always trusted in God. He never stopped preaching. “The love of Jesus presses me onward,” he said. In reward, God gave him great comfort and joy in spite of every suffering.
We read about his marvelous adventures for Christ in Luke’s Acts of the Apostles, beginning with chapter nine. But St. Luke’s story ends when Paul arrives in Rome. He is under house arrest, waiting to be tried by Emperor Nero. A famous early Christian writer, Tertullian, tells us that Paul was freed after his first trial. But then he was put in prison again. This time he was sentenced to death. He died around the year 67, during Nero’s terrible persecution of the Christians.
Paul called himself the apostle of the Gentiles. He preached the Gospel to the non-Jews. That took him to the whole known world. Because of Paul, we, too, have received the Christian faith.
St. Paul is the father, founder and protector of the Pauline Family, in which the Daughters of St Paul is a member. The Pauline Family celebrates the feast of their father on this day – June 30, besides the feast of his Conversion on January 25.
May our hearts be filled with joy as we honor St. Paul, the fearless preacher of our Christian faith.