The historic records bearing on St. Paul are fuller than those for any Scriptural saint. We have Paul’s own wonderful writings, the fourteen letters included in the New Testament, which outline his missionary journeys, exhort and admonish the various Christian congregations, discuss ethics and doctrinal matters; and in the midst of all this we get a revelation of the man himself, his inner character, his problems and fears.
St. Luke’s Acts of the Apostles and certain apocryphal books are other sources of our knowledge of St. Paul. Of all the founders of the Church, Paul was perhaps the most brilliant and many-sided, the broadest in outlook, and therefore the best endowed to carry Christianity to alien lands and peoples.
Born into a well-to-do Jewish family of Tarsus, the son of a Roman citizen, Saul (as we shall call him until after his conversion) was sent to Jerusalem to be trained in the famous rabbinical school headed by Gamaliel. Here, in addition to studying the Law and the Prophets, he learned a trade, as was the custom. Young Saul chose the trade of tent-making. The Judaic, Roman, and Greek traditions and cultures all had a part in shaping this great Apostle, who was so different in status and temperament from the humble fishermen of Jesus’ initial band of disciples. His missionary journeys were to give him the flexibility and the deep sympathy that made him the ideal human instrument for preaching Christ’s Gospel of universality.
Prayer to St Paul the Apostle
Holy Apostle who, with your teachings and with your charity, have taught the entire world, look kindly upon us, your children and disciples.
We expect everything from your prayers to the Divine Master and to Mary, Queen of the Apostles. Grant, Doctor of the Gentiles, that we may live by faith, save ourselves by hope, and that charity alone reign in us. Obtain for us, vessel of election, docile correspondence to divine grace, so that it may not remain unfruitful in us.
Grant that we may ever better know you, love you, and imitate you; that we may be living members of the Church, the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ. Raise up many and holy apostles. May the warm breath of true charity permeate the entire world. Grant that all may know and glorify God and the Divine Master, Way and Truth and Life.And, Lord Jesus, you know we have no faith in our own powers. In your mercy grant that we may be defended against all adversity, through the powerful intercession of St. Paul, our Teacher and Father. Amen
FEASTS OF ST PAUL
The Pauline Family celebrates the Conversion of St Paul on January 25, the Solemnity of SS Peter and Paul on June 29 and the Solemnity of St Paul on June 30 (specially approved for the Pauline Family).