St. Paul, the 13th Apostle*

This week, part of our lesson is learning more about that giant of evangelization, Saint Paul.  Paul’s life was always dedicated to God, and after a dramatic conversion, he became a Christian and refocused his life to telling others about Christ.

Paul suffered amazing hardships as he went about this work, including attacks by angry mobs, several years of imprisonment, being shipwrecked and eventually, according to tradition, he was beheaded.

In spite of all that, he brought many converts to Christ, wrote a large portion of the New Testament, and advised bishops at the Council of Jerusalem, and later Saint Peter on matters regarding the Gentiles.

You can recognize Saint Paul in art because he’s typically pictured with a sword (an attribute of his martyrdom) and a book (commemorating his great contribution to the Bible).

We honor Saint Paul especially on several feastdays:

  • January 25 is the day we celebrate the Conversion of Saint Paul
  • June 29 is the feast of Saints Peter and Paul
  • and on November 18 we celebrate the dedication of the great basilicas of Saints Peter and Paul in Rome.

*Even though Paul never met Christ in person, he considered himself to be an apostle, specifically sent on his missionary journeys by Christ Himself.  The Church also recognizes this unique role.

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