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.