St. Paul the Apostle
“May I never boast of anything
but the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ!”
In the history of our Church, no man stands out more clearly as a zealot and role model, than does St. Paul, the Apostle. The Church as we know it today, the Church of the Gentiles, would not exist were it not for the unceasing pursuit of Paul to bring the Gospel to the four corners of the earth. He took to heart, Jesus’ command, “Go into the whole world, and proclaim the good news to all creation.”
Paul has always impressed us by his singleness of purpose, his unflinching courage, his relentless drive, and his ability to stir men’s hearts, whether by his public speaking, or by his writings. Luke has chronicled the experiences of Paul in the Acts of the Apostles. They read like tales of high adventure. Paul’s letters have inspired the greatest minds of our Church, including, but not limited to St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Anthony, St. John of the Cross, and St. Teresa of Avila. Read about any of the great Saints; you’ll find the teachings of Paul. Of all the Apostles, for us, he is the most touchable, the most approachable, the most identifiable. From this, you can gather that we are great fans of St. Paul.
We feel very close to Paul. Although we are born Catholics, we consider ourselves converts, or rather, we are converting. It’s a never-ending process. When we first came back to the Church, we were overwhelmed by all the exciting people and things she had to offer. We were like kids in a candy store. There was so much more than we could absorb; so we didn’t key into Paul, and his powerful role in the Church, right away. It wasn’t until our first pilgrimage to Rome that we met Paul in a very personal way.
I think it’s important for all of us, just once in our lives, to go to the places of the Saints, so that we can soak up their spirit, which never leaves these areas. There is such a strong sense of the Saints at their shrines. It permeates your skin, and goes deep into your soul.
That’s what happened when we went to the Church of St. Paul Outside the Walls, in Rome. Paul was martyred in this area. After the Church was legitimized by Constantine, his bones were brought back to this spot, to be his final resting place. When we walked through the gates of the courtyard, a formidable statue of St. Paul loomed high above us. He wielded a huge sword; he stared deep into our souls. He was so strong! We asked our guide why he was buried outside the city walls. The guide raised himself to his full five feet, two inches, and proclaimed, “It was his right as a Roman citizen, Signor. The Christians were fed to the lions in the Colosseum during the persecution. But Paul was allowed to die outside the city walls with dignity, as was his birthright.” That didn’t make any sense. He was a Pharisee from the Holy Land, as best we knew. He was converted in Damascus, knocked down off his high horse, so to speak. How did he get to be a Roman citizen?
Then we went to the Mamertine Prison in Rome. This was Paul’s home prior to his death. We walked down, deep into the dark, damp hole of the cave, There was a dim light from a bare 30 watt bulb, dangling from the ceiling. An exhaust fan made a feeble attempt to suck out the foul-smelling, humid air, which permeated the prison. It was damp and gloomy, a very depressing scene. And that was now, in the twentieth century! We could not begin to imagine how it had been when Paul was imprisoned here. Our priest was well-versed in Scripture, and the historical background of the Gospel. He shared with us the ending of Paul’s letter to the Philippians. He shared Paul’s last testimony to Timothy. They are the most touching, uplifting, beautiful letters Paul wrote. And they were written here, in the stinking bowels of the earth. We had never known much about this pioneer and martyr for our Faith, but here in this cell, we came to love him very much.
That’s how they get you, these Saints. You ask a little question; you discover something that doesn’t quite fit in, and the next thing you know, you’re deeply engrossed in the life of the Saint. This is how we began to learn about Paul. We didn’t do it to share with anyone. We were in love with Church. This man was our Church! We had to know more about him. Who was he? What made him turn so completely towards Jesus and the Gospel message, at the height of his persecution of the Church?
We know now, why the Lord gave us the gift of being able to search out and study this man. Jesus wants us to know about those who struggled and died for us; He wants us to be proud of our ancestors, and never forget them! He wants us to follow in their footsteps.
On that note, we invite you learn more about the Saints.
Want to be happy? Learn More
Want to be at peace? Learn More
Want to become a Saint? Learn More
Want to Become a Saint?
Want to be happy?
Want to be at peace?
Want to get to Heaven?
Then you want to become a Saint?
Many, many times Bob and Penny Lord would remind us that in times of crisis, Jesus would raise up Saints. Certainly we can see that our entire World is in a crisis. We need God in our lives.
We need to come together and learn the Secrets of Holiness.
The Foundations of Holiness are simple and the resources are available.
Here are the Seven Foundations to become a Saint quickly:
1. Saint Louis de Monfort – To Jesus through Mary – True Devotion – Predicted the future Saints
2. Saint Therese of Lisieux – The little way
3. Saint Faustina Kowalska – Divine Mercy
4. Saint John Paul II – Encyclicals
5. Saint Teresa of Calcutta
6. Saint Ignatius of Loyola – Spiritual Exercises
7. Bob and Penny Lord – Lives of the Saints
Saint Faustina’s Prayer:
“O God, one in the Holy Trinity, I want to love You as no human soul has ever loved You before; and although I am utterly miserable and small, I have, nevertheless, cast the anchor of my trust deep down into the abyss of Your mercy.
In spite of my great misery I fear nothing, but hope to sing You a hymn of glory forever. Let no soul, even the most miserable, fall prey to doubt, for, as long as one is alive, each one can become a great Saint, so great is the power of God’s grace. It remains only for us to not to oppose God’s action.”
Would you be interested in a Weekend Retreat that will take the 7 Foundations above and combine them to reveal the Secret to Sainthood? Learn More