Saturday, January 24, 2009

Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul

The Conversion on the Way to Damascus
Caravaggio / 1600

If one were to ask for the ten most influential men in history, Paul of Tarsus would surely be one of them. His writings are some of those that we consider fundamental in the development of Western Civilization. They are the subject of more commentary, possibly, than the words of Christ Himself. Except for Peter, no man has inspired more men to a devout life.
It is the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, or the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul. I chose the latter readings because this year, 2000 years after his birth, has been dedicated as the Year of Saint Paul.

From the book of the Acts of the Apostles
"On that journey as I drew near to Damascus,
about noon a great light from the sky suddenly shone around me.
I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me,
'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?'
I replied, 'Who are you, sir?'
And he said to me,
'I am Jesus the Nazorean whom you are persecuting.'
Pope Benedict XVI, June 28, 2007
First Vespers of the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul
"Dear brothers and sisters, as in early times, today too Christ needs apostles ready to sacrifice themselves. He needs witnesses and martyrs like St Paul. Paul, a former violent persecutor of Christians, when he fell to the ground dazzled by the divine light on the road to Damascus, did not hesitate to change sides to the Crucified One and followed him without second thoughts. He lived and worked for Christ, for him he suffered and died. How timely his example is today!“And for this very reason I am pleased to announce officially that we shall be dedicating a special Jubilee Year to the Apostle Paul from 28 June 2008 to 29 June 2009, on the occasion of the bi-millennium of his birth, which historians have placed between the years 7 and 10 A.D."

Mass times in the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth:

Fort Worth's Catholic College:

No comments: