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The holy, glorious, all-laudable Apostle Paul was not one of the Twelve Apostoli. Paul was the "Apostle to the Gentiles" (Romans 11:13, Galatians 2:8, 1 Timothy 2:7), being converted while on the road to Damascus by Iisus Hristos Himself. The Church remembers St. Paul together with St. Peter on 29 iunie.
Named Saul at his birth in the city of Tarsus, the holy apostle was a son of the tribe of Benjamin. Saul became a Pharisee under Gamaliel, one of the chief Jewish Rabbis (Masters/Teachers) of the day. After his study under the great Rabbi, Saul became one of the chief persecutors of Christians. Present at the stoning of St. Ştefan (Faptele Apostolilor 7: 58), Saul later found himself blinded by Jesus himself on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-22). Sought out by the Apostolul Anania, Saul immediately repented and Anania baptized him. Saul, soon after his conversion called Paul, was later named and numbered among the Apostoli. The extent of Paul's preaching as he spread the Gospel went far and wide from Arabia to Spain, to both Jews and Gentiles. He was called the "Apostle to the Gentiles." Paul spent his new life in suffering and labor for Christ, establishing and organizing churches everywhere. He reached such a state of perfection that he was able to say to the Church at Galatia: "not I, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20). Like the Apostolul Varnava, Paul studied under Gamaliel.
The account of Paul's missionary journeys and the letters he wrote to the Churches he founded form an important part of the Noul Testament. St. Paul was made a mucenic with the Apostolul Petru under Nero by beheading.
- I & II Corinthians
- I & II Thessalonians
- I & II Timothy
Modern scholarship has contested the authenticity of several of these letters. Hebrews in particular, whose authorship was disputed even in the early church, was most likely not written by St. Paul. However, the Church lectionary introduces readings from each of these epistles as "from the epistle of St. Paul to..." as the lessons and commentary by the Church Fathers edify the Faithful towards Salvation.
Feasts and Fasts
The life of St. Paul, his letters in particular, are celebrated in the Orthodox Church with annual feasts and fasts. Being one of the four seasonal posturi, the fast of Sts. Peter & Paul is the summer fast that begins nine days after Pentecost, and continues until their joint feast day of June 29.
St. Paul is the intercessor for, among others, voyagers by sea and homilists.
- First-enthroned of the apostles,
- teachers of the universe:
- Entreat the Master of all
- to grant peace to the world,
- and to our souls great mercy!
Condac (Tone 2)
- O Lord, You have taken up to eternal rest
- and to the enjoyment of Your blessings
- the two divinely-inspired preachers, the leaders of the Apostles,
- for You have accepted their labors and deaths as a sweet-smelling sacrifice,
- for You alone know what lies in the hearts of men.
Condac (Tone 2)
- Today Christ the Rock glorifies with highest honor
- The rock of Faith and leader of the Apostles,
- Together with Paul and the company of the twelve,
- Whose memory we celebrate with eagerness of faith,
- Giving glory to the one who gave glory to them!