June 29

From the Prologue

Paul was born in Tarsus of the tribe of Benjamin. At first, he was called Saul, studied under Gamaliel, was a Pharisee and a persecutor of Christianity. He was miraculously converted to the Christian Faith by the Lord Himself Who appeared to him on the road to Damascus. He was baptized by the Apostle Ananias, was called Paul and numbered in the service of the great apostles. With a fiery zeal, Paul preached the Gospel everywhere from the borders of Arabia to Spain, among the Jews and among the Gentiles. He received the title "Apostle to the Gentiles." As horrible as his sufferings were, so much more was his super human patience. Throughout all the years of his preaching Paul, from day to day, hung as one on a weak thread between life and death. Since he fulfilled all days and nights with labor and suffering for Christ, since he organized the Church in many places and since he attained such a degree of perfection he was able to say: "It is now no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20). Paul was beheaded in Rome during the reign of Emperor Nero at the same time as the Apostle Peter.



Unlearned and learned but equal in spirit

And in the love of God, as strong as angels,

Peter a simple man, Paul educated

Both illumined, by the grace of the Spirit,

Two flaming candles, unquenchable candles,

Towering and beautiful, two brilliant stars.

Traversed the earth and spread the light

Nothing did they take, to men they gave all,

Completely poor, the world they enriched,

Prisoners and servants, conquered the entire world,

With the teaching of Christ, enriched the world,

With a new weapon, conquered the entire world:

By humility and peace and meekness blessed,

Prayer and fasting and mercy powerful.

When to them, that stormy day, arrived the stormy night

Bloodthirsty Nero, their life cut short.

But when the ruler of the world, a command issued

And to suffering, gave over Peter and Paul

The world was theirs and not his [Nero's] anymore,

By death, the apostles gained the Kingdom.

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