Dom Gueranger on January 25th: The Conversion of St. Paul

"Today, it is from heaven that (Christ) evinces his power: all the mysteries of our redemption have been accomplished, and he wishes to show mankind, that he is the sole author and master of the Apostolate, and that his alliance with the Gentiles is now perfect.....................

And on one of the reasons for the Church choosing this date for the Feast:

" was necessary, in order to give the court of our Infant-King its full beauty, that the two Princes of the Church - the Apostle of the Jews, and the Apostle of the Gentiles - should stand close to the mystic crib; Peter, with his Keys, and Paul with his sword. Bethlehem thus becomes the perfect figure of the Church, and the riches of this season of the Cycle are abundant beyond measure.

"The ancient Sacramentaries give us nothing upon the Conversion of St. Paul. We take the following Paryer....from the Gallican Missal published by Dom Mabillon, under the title of 'Missale Gothicum'.

'O God, who, by a voice from heaven, didst strike with terror thine Apostle Paul when raging against the holiness of the Christian religion, and, on this day of his Vocation, didst change him both in his heart and his name: and him, whom the Church once dreaded as her persecutor, she now rejoices in having as her Teacher in the commandments of God: whom, also, thou didst strike with exterior blindness, that thou mightest give him interior sight: to whom, moreover, when the darkness of his cruelty was removed, thou didst give the knowledge of thy divine law, whereby he might call the Gentiles: and didst thrice deliver him from shipwreck, which he suffered for the Faith, saving this thy devoted servant from the waves of the sea: grant slso to us we beseech thee, who are solemnising both his conversion and his faith, that, after the blindness of our sins, we may be permitted to see Thee in heaven, who didst enlighten Paul, here on earth."

From Dom Gueranger's prayer for the intercession of St. Paul:

"Pray for the conversion of sinners, who have forgotten their God......draw down on them that persecute Jesus, the graces which triumph over the hardest haart. Apostle of the Gentiles, look with an eye of loving pity on so many nations, that are still sitting in the shadow of death..................

Raise up in the Church apostolic men, who may continue thy work. Pray to our Lord that he bless their labours, and the blood of such among them as are Martyrs of zeal.

Shield with thy protection, the See of Peter, .....Support the authority of the Church of Rome, which has inherited thy power, and looks upon thee as her second defence. May thy powerful intercession lead her enemies into humble submission, destroy schism and heresies, and fill her Pastors with thy spirit, that like thee, they may seek, not themselves, but solely and in all things, the interests of our Lord Jesus Christ."

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