Feast of the Conversion of St Paul

Today we not only celebrate the incredible conversion of St. Paul, but we celebrate the infinite power of God’s love and mercy. Both before and after his conversion, St. Paul was a zealous man. 

He did everything with vigor and passion. 

This meant that before his conversion when he was a Pharisee who saw the Church as a threat to his faith, he violently led the attack against the Church. St. Paul was personally present and apparently influential at the very first martyrdom, the stoning of St. Stephen. 

Afterwards he set forth to Damascus to find and arrest as many Christians as possible.

If St. Paul continued down this path of hatred he would have become one of the most infamous sinners in the New Testament.

But by the incredible grace of God, St. Paul became an apostle who was so influential and key to the spreading of the Gospel that he is always remembered alongside St. Peter himself.

This powerful conversion came as a result of God’s divine power revealing to Paul the sinfulness of his actions.

Repentance, as with all good things, first finds its origins in God’s grace.

Yet, it requires that we then accept and work with this grace as St. Paul did who submitted himself to Ananias, to suffering in order to share the Gospel to the ends of the earth, and to all that the Lord instructed him thereon out.

As Our Lady of Fatima warned, we live in a society that has drastically lost sight of the Gospel and too often persecutes those who stay true to the Lord. 

At times we might be tempted to despair in the midst of such opposition and sinfulness. 

But Our Lady of Fatima did not abandon us to such darkness. 

Rather, like how St. Paul went from one of the greatest sinners to one of the greatest saints, so too has Our Lady promised that if we take refuge in Her then we shall see the triumph of Her Immaculate Heart. 

There is hope for conversion! 

So let us faithfully turn our hearts back to God, pray the Rosary, and trust in the Lord!

(source: Confraternity of Our Lady of Fatima)

Prayer from the Gallican Missal:

O God, who, by a voice from heaven, didst strike with terror thine Apostle Paul when raging against the holiness of the Christian Religion, and, on this the day of his Vocation, didst change him both in his heart and his name: and him, whom the Church once dreaded as her persecutor, she now rejoices in having as her Teacher in the commandments of God: whom, also, thou didst strike with exterior blindness, that thou mightest give him interior sight: to whom, moreover, when the darkness of his cruelty was removed, thou didst give the knowledge of thy divine law, whereby he might call the Gentiles: and didst thrice deliver him from shipwreck, which he suffered for the Faith, saving this thy devoted servant from the waves of the sea: grant also to us, we beseech thee, who are solemnising both his conversion and his faith, that, after the blindness of our sins, we may be permitted to see Thee, in heaven, who didst enlighten Paul, here on earth. Amen

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