The Conversion of Saint Paul, the Apostle

Now Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord,  went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, that, if he should find any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains. On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him.He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” He said, “Who are you, sir?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do.”The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, for they heard the voice but could see no one.Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him to Damascus.For three days he was unable to see, and he neither ate nor drank.”  Acts 9:1-9

(Read the rest of Paul’s conversion here.)

Conversion of Saint Paul

Image by eugeniu (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

Today is the feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul. What I love most about this feast is the message of hope. I’ve said this before: where there’s life, there’s hope. There is no one beyond God’s reach, even the most “lowliest” of persons. Look at Saint Paul (Saul, before his conversion), a fierce persecutor of the early Christians. Jesus touched him in a powerful way that transformed his life forever. And his conversion changed the world in many ways, ways that affect us to our own day.

God CAN touch those we love. God WANTS to bless those we love. We must keep on praying and trusting that one day our those we love who are from the Lord will return. He probably won’t knock them off a horse as He did with St. Paul, but He can touch them in a powerful way, even if that way is gradual. God’s ways are not our ways and so we just need to trust in Him!

By the way, If you are looking for ideas on how to celebrate this feast with your family, there isn’t much on the web. I did find this link to coloring pages that your kids can color, maybe while you read the story of St. Paul’s conversion to them. (Non-Catholic link, but there is nothing objectionable that I can see, at least not this page.)

Here are some other links to learn more about this feast:

Catholic Encyclopedia

Catholic Culture

Women for Faith and Family

P.S. Here is a wonderful prayer that I found over at Our Beautiful Catholic Faith. It is directed specifically to non-Catholics, but it is very much applicable for our fallen-away Catholics, too:

Prayer for a Loved One’s Conversion to Catholicism (Colossians 1:9-14)

O Father, in the name of Your Son Jesus, and in the power and authority of the Holy Spirit,
with the knowledge of Your will,
I ask that You fill null with the knowledge of Your will through ALL spiritual wisdom and understanding.
Enlighten this precious child of Yours, dear Lord!
Teach this dear one to live in a manner that is worthy of You,
so as to be fully pleasing to You,
full of good works bearing good fruits and ever growing in knowledge of You.
Strengthen this lost lamb, dear Lord,
with every power of Your Holy Spirit,
in accordance with Your might, for all endurance and patience,
with joy, giving thanks to You O Father!
Make Your child fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in the Light.
Deliver this beloved one from the power of darkness
into the kingdom of Your Beloved Son, Jesus,
and transfer null into the kingdom of Your Beloved Son, Jesus,
in whom is redemption and the forgiveness of sins.

Amen!

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Tweetable: The Conversion of Saint Paul

Saints and Feast Days in January 2016

I know I am putting this out extra early since it isn’t even Christmas yet; however, I am starting my yearly blogging break starting next week and I didn’t want to wait until January to put this up.

Thus, without further ado, here it goes:

Saints and Feast Days in January 2016

Image by SorbyPhoto (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

Saints and Feasts

January 1Mary, Mother of God (solemnity, holy day of obligation)

January 1: First Friday Devotions (optional)

January 2:  Sts. Basil & Gregory, priest (obligatory)

January 2: First Saturday Devotions (optional)

January 3: Epiphany observed in United States (solemnity)

January 4: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, religious (obligatory memorial)

January 5: St. John Neumann, bishop (obligatory memorial)

January 6: Official feast day for Epiphany  (Solemnity)

January 6: St Andre Bessette, religious (optional memorial)

January 7: St. Raymond of Pennafort, religious (optional memorial)

January 10: Baptism of the Lord (feast)

January 12: St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, religious (optional memorial)

January 13: St. Hilary of Poitiers, bishop and doctor of the church (optional memorial)

January 20: St. Fabian, pope and martyr (optional memorial)

January 20: St. Sebastian, martyr (optional memorial)

January 21: St. Agnes, martyrs, virgin and martyr (obligatory memorial)

January 22: Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children (United States)

January 23: St. Vincent of Zaragossa, deacon and martyr (optional memorial)

January 23: St. Marianne Cope, Virgin (optional memorial)

 January 25: Conversion of Saint Paul (feast)

January 26: Sts. Timothy and Titus, bishops (obligatory memorial)

January 27: St. Angela Merici, religious (optional memorial)

January 28: St. Thomas Aquinas, priest and doctor of the church (obligatory memorial)

Other Dates to Note

Every Saturday is traditionally dedicated to devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary

January is traditionally dedicated to the Holy Childhood of Jesus.

January 1: New Year’s Day

January 18: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

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Tweetable: Saints and Feasts in January 2016