In his writings St Paul makes it very clear that in his preaching he was passing on to his listeners something that he himself had been given, not something that he had invented: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I had received.” St Paul received a direct and personal revelation from Christ the Lord. That revelation transformed Saul from being a vicious persecutor of the Church, and converted him into being Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles, the most inspiring and most effective missionary the Church has ever had.
St Paul’s life exemplifies our human destiny; converting to the truth, and helping others to do so. That is the true fulfilment of every human life.
We should pray regularly for the conversion of our own needy country to Christ.
Let us pray. O merciful God, let the glorious intercession of Thy saints assist us, particularly the most blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Thy only-begotten Son, and Thy holy Apostles, Peter and Paul, to whose patronage we humbly recommend this our land. Be mindful of our fathers, Eleutherius, Celestine, and Gregory, bishops of the Holy City; of Augustine, Columba, and Aidan, who delivered to us inviolate the faith of the Holy Roman Church. Remember our holy martyrs, who shed their blood for Christ: especially our first martyr, Saint Alban, and Thy most glorious bishop, Saint Thomas of Canterbury. Remember all those holy confessors, bishops, and kings, all those holy monks and hermits, all those holy virgins and widows, who made this once an island of saints, illustrious by their glorious merits and virtues. Let not their memory perish from before Thee, O Lord, but let their supplication enter daily into Thy sight; and do Thou, who didst so often spare Thy sinful people for the sake of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, now, also, moved by the prayers of our fathers reigning with Thee, have mercy upon us, save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance; and suffer not those souls to perish, which Thy Son hath redeemed with His most Precious Blood, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, world without end. Amen.
Let us us pray. O loving Lord Jesus, Who when Thou wert hanging on the Cross didst commend us all in the person of Thy disciple John to Thy most sweet Mother, that we might find in her our refuge, our solace, and our hope; look graciously upon our beloved land, and on those who are bereaved of so powerful a patronage; that, acknowledging once more the dignity of this holy Virgin, they may honour and venerate her with all affection of devotion, and own her as Queen and Mother. May her sweet name be lisped by little ones, and linger on the lips of the aged and the dying; may it be invoked by the afflicted, and hymned by the joyful; that this Star of the Sea being their protection and their guide, all may come to the harbour of eternal salvation. Who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.