Feast of the Conversion of St Paul
Bartolome Esteban Murillo's 'Conversion of St Paul'
Today the Church calendar marks the Conversion of St Paul, the incredible man who spread the Gospel far and wide and who was martyred in Rome. The Acts of the Apostles tell of how the man Saul was present at the stoning of St Stephen, the first Christian martyr and persecuted the early Church, only to astonishingly be converted when on the road to Damascus. I love the paintings of his conversion, as he was blinded by the light of Christ who said to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" Saul became Paul and Paul became St Paul, who wrote the Letters which expound the love of God, the Grace of God and the formation of the early Church. He wrote this on love:
Love is patient; love is kind
and envies no one.
Love is never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude;
never selfish, not quick to take offense.
There is nothing love cannot face;
there is no limit to its faith,
its hope, and endurance.
In a word, there are three things
that last forever: faith, hope, and love;
but the greatest of them all is love.
I am fond of incredible conversions to the Catholic Faith and of course history is littered with them. I like the idea that a raging Saul is on his way to Damascus on his horse thinking of new and exciting ways of killing Chistians and God looks at him and thinks, "He's got potential...I think I'll use him." Ah, but of course, St Paul was chosen before the foundation of the World.