Thursday, 25 January 2018

# Saints

Conversion of Saint Paul the Apostle

Illumination depicting Paul’s conversion, from Livre d’Heures d’Étienne Chevalier (c. 1450–1460), a book of hours by Jean Fouquet now in the Château de Chantilly

The 25th of January is the feast day of the Conversion of Saint Paul the Apostle.

The following is from Butler’s Lives of the Saints:

THE great apostle Paul, named Saul at his circumcision, was born at Tarsus, the capital of Silicia, and was by privilege a Roman citizen, to which quality a great distinction and several exemptions were granted by the laws of the empire. He was early instructed in the strict observance of the Mosaic law, and lived up to it in the most scrupulous manner. In his zeal for the Jewish law, which he thought the cause of God, he became a violent persecutor of the Christians. He was one of those who combined to murder St. Stephen, and in the violent persecution of the faithful which followed the martyrdom of the holy deacon, Saul signalized himself above others. By virtue of the power he had received from the high priest, he dragged the Christians out of their houses, loaded them with chains, and thrust them into prison. In the fury of his zeal he applied for a commission to take up all Jews at Damascus who confessed Jesus Christ, and bring them bound to Jerusalem, that they might serve as examples for the others. But God was pleased to show forth in him His patience and mercy. While on his way to Damascus, he and his party were surrounded by a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, and suddenly struck to the ground. And then a voice was heard saying, “Saul, Saul, why dost thou persecute Me?” And Saul answered, “Who art Thou, Lord?” and the voice replied, “I am Jesus, Whom thou dost persecute.” This mild expostulation of Our Redeemer, accompanied with a powerful interior grace, cured Saul’s pride, assuaged his rage, and wrought at once a total change in him. Wherefore, trembling and astonished, he cried out, “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?” Our Lord ordered him to arise and to proceed on his way to the city, where he should be informed of what was expected from him. Saul, arising from the ground, found that, though his eyes were open, he saw nothing. He was led by hand into Damascus, where he was lodged in the house of a Jew named Judas. To this house came by divine appointment a holy man named Ananias, who, laying his hands on Saul, said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, Who appeared to thee on thy journey, hath sent me that thou mayest receive thy sight and be filled with the Holy Ghost.” Immediately something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he recovered his sight. Then he arose and was baptized; he stayed some few days with the disciples at Damascus, and began immediately to preach in the synagogues that Jesus was the Son of God. Thus a blasphemer and a persecutor was made an apostle, and chosen as one of God’s principal instruments in the con. version of the world.

Reflection.—Listen to the words of the “Imitation of Christ,” and let them sink into your heart: “He who would keep the grace of God, let him be grateful for grace when it is given, and patient when it is taken away. Let him pray that it may be given back to him, and be careful and humble, lest he lose it.”

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Our Lady of Medjugorje

February 2, 2018 Message to Mirjana

Dear children, you whom my Son loves, you whom I love with an immeasurable motherly love, do not permit for selfishness, for self love, to rule the world. Do not permit for love and goodness to be hidden. You who are loved, who have come to know the love of my Son, remember that to be loved means to love. My children, have faith. When you have faith you are happy and are spreading peace; your soul trembles with joy. My Son is in such a soul. When you are giving yourself for the faith, when you are giving yourself for love, when you are doing good to your neighbor, my Son smiles in your soul. Apostles of my love, I am turning to you as a mother. I am gathering you around myself and I desire to lead you on the way of love and faith, on the way which leads to the light of the world. I am here for the sake of love, for the sake of faith, because with my motherly blessing I desire to give you hope and strength on your way - because the way which leads to my Son is not easy. It is full of renunciation, giving, sacrifice, forgiveness and much, much love. But this way leads to peace and happiness. My children, do not believe lying voices which speak to you about false things, false glitter. You, my children, return to the Scripture. I am looking at you with immeasurable love, and through God's grace am making myself evident to you. My children, set out with me. May your soul tremble with joy. Thank you.

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