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Taddeo_Zuccari,_Conversione_di_san_Paolo,_San_Marcello_al_Corso,_1564–1566
Taddeo Zuccari’s Conversion of Saint Paul (1564-66), in the Church of San Marcello al Corso.

Feast of The Conversion of Saint Paul the Apostle

(1st c.)

St. Paul the Apostle, originally named Saul, was an intelligent and zealous Jewish scholar and Pharisee who fiercely persecuted the first Christian converts among the Jews.  While on his way to Damascus with permission to arrest Christians, he received a vision of the resurrected Christ.  Jesus rebuked him for his actions and struck him blind, and through this encounter St. Paul was converted.  God then used St. Paul and his zeal to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, especially to the Gentiles.

St. Paul was martyred in Rome in the year 65 A.D.  The feast day of St. Paul’s conversion is celebrated on January 25.

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A great light from the sky suddenly shone around me.”

Acts 22:6
Conversion_on_the_Way_to_Damascus-Caravaggio_(c.1600-1)
The Conversion on the Way to Damascus (Conversione di San Paolo) is a work by Caravaggio, painted in 1601 for the Cerasi Chapel of the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, in Rome.

I am Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God.”

cf. Romans 1:1

conversion of saint paul

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles 22:3-16

Paul addressed the people in these words: “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city. At the feet of Gamaliel I was educated strictly in our ancestral law and was zealous for God, just as all of you are today. I persecuted this Way to death, binding both men and women and delivering them to prison. Even the high priest and the whole council of elders can testify on my behalf. For from them I even received letters to the brothers and set out for Damascus to bring back to Jerusalem in chains for punishment those there as well.

“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.’ My companions saw the light but did not hear the voice of the one who spoke to me. I asked, ‘What shall I do, sir?’ The Lord answered me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told about everything appointed for you to do.’ Since I could see nothing because of the brightness of that light, I was led by hand by my companions and entered Damascus.

“A certain Ananias, a devout observer of the law, and highly spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, came to me and stood there and said, ‘Saul, my brother, regain your sight.’ And at that very moment I regained my sight and saw him. Then he said, ‘The God of our ancestors designated you to know his will, to see the Righteous One, and to hear the sound of his voice; for you will be his witness before all to what you have seen and heard. Now, why delay? Get up and have yourself baptized and your sins washed away, calling upon his name.’”

The word of the Lord.

Follow the saints because those who follow them will become saints.”

Saint Clement I, pope
saint-paul-guercino
Saint Paul by Guercino (1591–1666)

Saint Paul, Apostle and Slave of Christ Jesus, pray for us.

Be not afraid!  And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.  Holy Family pray for us.  Amen.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

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