Year of St Paul

st-paulPope Benedict XVI declared a year dedicated to St Paul, beginning on 28 June  2008, the eve of the feast of Sts Peter and Paul, and continuing through 29 June  2009. The Holy Father said that the year, marking the 2000th anniversary of the saint’s birth, should be used to heighten appreciation for the Apostle to the Gentiles and to his project of promoting the Christian faith and the unity of believers.

On 10 May  2008, the Apostolic Pentitentiary released the decree of the plenary indulgence that the Pope has declared. The document was signed by Cardinal James Stafford and Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, the penitentiary major and regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, respectively.

St Paul, a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, was born in Tarsus of Cilicia and died in Rome, Italy. At circumcision he received the name of Saul, but since he was also a Roman citizen, he came to be known among the Gentiles as Paul. At an early age he was sent to the Jewish school of Gamaliel. He also learned the trade of a tent-maker. He became a violent persecutor of the Christians and took part in the martyrdom of St Stephen.

After his miraculous conversion on the way to Damascus he made three missionary journeys evangelising both Jews and Gentiles. He wrote fourteen Epistles now found in the New Testament. He was finally brought a captive to Rome, imprisioned and then beheaded near the Ostian Way. –


O glorious Apostle of the Gentiles, St Paul, who with such zeal didst busy thyself in destroying at Ephesus those books which thou knewest well would have perverted the minds of the faithful: turn upon us thy gracious eyes also at this present day. Thou seest how an unbelieving and licentious press is attempting to rob our hearts of the precious treasure of faith and spotless morals. Enlighten, we beseech Thee O holy Apostle, the minds of so many perverted writers, that they may cease once for all to do harm to souls with their evil doctrines and lying insinuations; move their hearts to hate the evil that they have done and are doing to the chosen flock of Jesus Christ. For us, too, obtain the grace of being ever docile to the voice of the Supreme Pontiff, that so we may never allow ourselves to indulge in the reading of bad books, but may seek instead to read and, so far as it is given to us, to diffuse those books which by their salutary doctrine shall assist all of us to promote the greater glory of God, the exaltation of His Church and the salvation of souls. Amen.

Prayer Source: Raccolta, The — A Manual of Indulgences by Sacred Penitentiary Apostolic, Benziger Brothers, Inc. , 1957

Copyright © 2020.