Novena and Prayer for St. Paul the Apostle's Intercession

June 25, 1995
Brother John Raymond

	I think I would be safe in presuming that the majority of
 Catholics in this country are not of Jewish nationality. To use a
 biblical term we are mainly Gentiles. I wonder what religion we
 would be if it wasn't for St. Paul the Apostle. He more than anyone
 else labored hard to bring the Faith to the Gentiles. He has been
 given the title "Apostle to the Gentiles."
	Saul, later called Paul, was born into a wealthy family in the
 Asia Minor city of Tarsus (Southeast coast of Turkey). He was the
 son of a Roman citizen. In this city he experienced Jewish, Roman
 and Greek traditions and cultures. His parents sent him to a famous
 rabbinical school in Jerusalem. Here he learned the Law, the
 Prophets and a trade (tent-making.) Saul appears in the Acts of the
 Apostles as a self-righteous young Pharisee almost fanatically
 opposed to Christianity. He was present at St. Stephen's stoning. On
 the way to the Syrian city of Damascus, to round up Christians, Saul
 had his conversion experience. This made him the Paul who is so
 familiar to us. After baptism Paul withdrew to Arabia for three
 years. Upon his return he began his extraordinary career of
 preaching, writing and church-founding. The Acts and other New
 Testament Letters record his extensive travels by land and sea.
 Still these letters perhaps do not form a complete biography of his
 life. Paul mentions incidents or plans of which we have no details.
 This zealous apostle tells us he was stoned, three times scourged
 and shipwrecked, endured hunger and thirst, sleepless nights, perils
 and hardships. On top of this was his almost constant anxieties over
 the errors in faith and morals of the widely scattered Christian
 communities. After extensive apostolic work St. Paul was arrested
 and spent two years in prison in Rome. He was martyred by beheading
 around the same time as St. Peter's martyrdom in Rome. Both of these
 great Saints are honored this June 29, the feast of Saints Peter and
	There is a tradition that when St. Paul was beheaded his head
 fell and rolled landing three times __ and each time a fountain of
 water sprang up. Today one can visit the shrine of Tre Fontane
 (three fountains) on the outskirts of Rome, near the Basilica of St.
 Paul Outside the Walls (of Rome.)
	St. Paul brought the Faith to a difficult world steeped in
 paganism. In our so called "Post-Christian" era we are once again
 immersed in an unbelieving world. St. Paul faught courageously
 through his preaching and writing to defend the Christian
 communities from the paganism that surrounded them. We need this
 great Saint's intercession to battle the paganizing effect of the
 culture we live in, especially from the media.

Prayer to St. Paul for the Media of Communications

	St. Paul, glorious Apostle to the Gentiles, with great zeal you
 spent yourself to proclaim the Truth of the Gospel to a pagan world.
 You see in our "Post-Christian" times how the press, radio and
 television oppose our Catholic Faith. Enlighten, we beg you, O holy
 Apostle, the minds of many writers, actors, directors and radio
 announcers so that they may cease bringing ruin to souls. Move their
 hearts to conversion as you were so powerfully moved so that they
 will spread light instead of darkness.
	Obtain for us the grace to be always docile to the voice of the
 Church as expressed through the Holy Father and the Bishops in union
 with him. May we never contribute to or be part of any media of
 communications that is contrary to our Faith. May we seek, instead,
 to promote, read, hear and view only those materials whose
 beneficial contents will bring greater glory to God, the exaltation
 of His Church or the salvation of souls. Amen.

Novena to St. Paul (begin on June 21)

	St. Paul, great Apostle of the Gentiles, intercede for us to God.
 You are God's special vessel of election. Through your intercession
 we hope to receive from Him this special grace (here make your
 request.) God, you have instructed many nations through the
 preaching of the Blessed Apostle Paul. Let the power of his
 intercession with You help us who venerate his memory this day.