On June 28, Pope Benedict XVI will light a votive lamp at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome to begin the Year of St. Paul, hoping that Catholics will grow in their knowledge of this Apostle to the Nations and follow in his example.
As this year of reflection begins, Our Sunday Visitor presents a poster dedicated to this giant of the Church on Pages 10-11 so readers can learn about this leader of early Christians and find out how they, too, can dedicate themselves more wholly to spreading Christ's message.
Individuals may obtain more than one indulgence during the holy year, but not more than one per day.
First missionary journey: Antioch in Syria to Seleucia, Cyprus (Salamis and Paphos) and modern-day Turkey (Perga, Antioch of Psidia, Iconium, Lystra, Iconium, Antioch of Pisidia, and Perga, then Attalia) returning to Antioch.
Second missionary journey: Antioch in Syria to modern-day Turkey (Tarsus, Derbe, Lystra, Phrygia, Galatia, Mysia, Troas) and Greece (Samothrace, Neapolis, Philippi, Amphipolos, Apollonia, Thessolanica, Beroea, Athens, Corinth, Cenchrea), back to Turkey (Ephesus), then Caesarea and Jerusalem, before returning to Antioch.
Third missionary journey: Antioch, through modern-day Turkey (Galatia, Phyrgia, Ephesus) and Greece (Macedonia, Achaia, back to Macedonia, Philippi), back to Turkey (Troas, Assos, Mitylene, Chios, Samos, Miletus, Cos, Rhodes, Patara), then to Tyre, Ptolemais, Caesarea and Jerusalem.
Sources: The Catholic Parent (January/February 2000 issue) and the Catholic Encyclopedia.
The following are 14 epistles that are either believed to be authored by St. Paul or unquestionably known to be.
Romans: St. Paul wrote this epistle most likely in the winter of A.D. 57-58. In it, he outlined the message of the Gospel, introducing himself as an apostle to the Gentiles.
1 Corinthians: This book addresses some problems that had arisen in the town since Paul's departure from Corinth. He had ministered to the people in Corinth for about 18 months before continuing on in his second journey. It was written circa A.D. 54.
2 Corinthians: St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians once again. The first nine chapters are an encouragement to the people to continue in their repentance. In the last four chapters, St. Paul rejects charges against his authority as an apostle, trying to answer the question, "What is an apostle?"
Galatians: St. Paul wrote to the Church in Galatia after he heard that preachers began to teach new Christians that they could become "true" or "authentic" followers by becoming full and legal Jews, around A.D. 55.
Ephesians: The main theme of this letter is the divine plan that all will be reconciled to God the Father in Christ. Research in style has convinced some that it was written by a disciple or a follower of St. Paul's teachings.
Philippians: This is one of St. Paul's warmest and most positive letters to have survived. St. Paul wrote this letter, focusing on the urgency of doing God's will, to encourage his friends in Philippi. St. Paul probably wrote this from prison in Rome in the early A.D. 60s.
Colossians: Written sometime during St. Paul's Roman house arrest, A.D.62-63, the epistle focuses on the faulty teachings of the direct effect spiritual beings were thought to have on people. St. Paul also addresses theproblems that arose from the combination of Jewish and non-Jewish practices in Colossae.
1 Thessalonians: This letter expresses the joyful recollection of the Thessalonians' conversion after St. Paul's initial preaching. Written in A.D. 50, it is the earliest known written expression of the meaning of Christ's death, resurrection and return in glory.
2 Thessalonians: The tone of the second letter to the Thessalonians differs greatly in tone from the first. It still offers words of encouragement, but to those in a community undergoing persecution and suffering. The main concern was to correct information that was floating around about "the day of the Lord," which disturbed and threatened the Thessalonians' faith.
1 Timothy: This is the first of the "pastoral letters," with 2 Timothy and Titus, because they are written to individual elders instead of local churches. Here, St. Paul warns Timothy of false teachers who teach inaccurate doctrines about the role of the Old Testament. It also outlines pastoral duties.
2 Timothy: This letter continues where the previous one left off about the problems encountered in false teachings.
Titus: St. Paul reaffirms his teachings focused on the opposition to false teachers in this epistle.
Philemon: St. Paul was in prison when a slave (Onesimus) of Philemon escapes. Onesimus meets up with St. Paul in prison, converts and becomes an important part of St. Paul's missionary work. Understanding Philemon's right, St. Paul sends Onesimus back to him with this letter. In it, he desires to transform the master-slave relationship.
Hebrews: The authorship of this letter is unknown, though it was held as Pauline from the fourth century through the Reformation.
Source: "Catholic Encyclopedia" (OSV, $39.95)