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 (SE 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 Paul.
	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

	O 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)

	O 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.) O 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. Amen.