Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul: Missa “Scio cui crédidi”
The great Apostle Paul, named Saul at his circumcision, was born in Tarsus, the capital of Cilicia, and was by that privilege a Roman citizen, to which quality a great distinction and several exemptions were granted by the laws of the Empire. He was early instructed in the strict observance of the Mosaic law, and lived up to it in the most scrupulous manner. In his zeal for the Jewish law, which he believed to be the divine Cause of God, he became a violent persecutor of the Christians. He was one of those who combined to murder Saint Stephen, and then he presided in the violent persecution of the faithful which followed the holy deacon’s martyrdom. By virtue of the power he had received from the high priest, he dragged the Christians out of their houses, loaded them with chains, and thrust them into prison. In the fury of his zeal he applied for a commission to seize in Damascus all Jews who confessed Jesus Christ, and to bring them in bonds to Jerusalem, that they might serve as examples for the others.
But God was pleased to manifest in him His patience and mercy. While Saul was journeying to Damascus, he and his party were surrounded by a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, and suddenly the chief was struck to the ground. And then a voice was heard saying, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me? And Saul answered, Who art Thou, Lord? and the voice replied, I am Jesus, whom you persecute. This mild admonition of Our Redeemer, accompanied with a powerful interior grace, cured Saul’s pride, assuaged his rage, and wrought at once a total change in him. Therefore, trembling and astonished, he cried out, Lord, what wilt Thou have me do? Our Lord ordered him to proceed on his way to the city of Damascus, where he would be informed of what was expected of him. Saul, arising from the ground, found that although his eyes were open, he saw nothing.
He was led into the city, where he was lodged in the house of a Christian named Judas. To this house came by divine appointment a holy man named Ananias, who, laying his hands on Saul, said, Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your journey, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Ghost. Immediately something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he recovered his sight; then he arose and was baptized. He stayed a few days with the disciples at Damascus, and began immediately to preach in the synagogues that Jesus was the Son of God. Thus a blasphemer and a persecutor was made an Apostle, and chosen as one of God’s principal instruments in the conversion of the world.
INTROIT 2 Tim. 1:12 Psalm 36: 30-31
I know whom I have believed and I am certain that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him, against that day; being a just judge. (Ps. 138: 1, 2) Lord, Thou hast proved me and known me: Thou hast known my sitting down, and my rising up. v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Repeat I know whom I have believed…
God, Who hast taught the whole world by the preaching of blessed Paul, Thy apostle, we beseech Thee, grant us, who this day celebrate his conversion, that we may advance toward Thee by following his example. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen
Commemoration of St. Peter
God, Who, committing to blessed Peter, Thine apostle, the keys of the heavenly kingdom, didst bestow on him the pontifical function of binding and loosing, grant that, by the help of his intercession, we may be delivered from the bonds of our sins. Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R.Amen
EPISTLE Acts 9: 1-22
Lesson from the Acts of the Apostles. In those days, Saul, as yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked of him letters to Damascus, to the synagogues; that if he found any men and women of this way, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. And as he went on his journey, it came to pass that he drew nigh to Damascus: and suddenly a light from heaven shined round about him. And falling on the ground he heard a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me? Who said, Who art Thou, Lord? And He said, I am Jesus of Nazareth, Whom thou persecutest. It is hard for thee to kick against the goad. And he trembling and astonished, said, Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do? And the Lord said to him, Arise, and go into the city, and there it shall be told thee what thou must do. Now the men who went in company with him stood amazed, hearing indeed a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. But they leading him by the hand, brought him to Damascus. And he was there three days without sight; and he did neither eat nor drink. Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias and the Lord said to him in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold I am here, Lord. And the Lord said to him, Arise and go into the street that is called Strait, and seek in the house of Judas one named Saul of Tarsus; for behold he prayeth. (And he saw a man, named Ananias, coming in, and putting his hands upon him, that he might recover his sight.) But Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints in Jerusalem: and here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that invoke Thy name. And the Lord said to him, Go thy way; for this man is to Me a vessel of election, to carry My name before the gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how great things he must suffer for My name’s sake. And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house, and laying his hands upon him he said, Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus hath sent me, He that appeared to thee in the way as thou camest, that thou mayest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it were scales, and he received his sight; and rising up he was baptized. And when he had taken meat, he was strengthened. And he was with the disciples that were at Damascus for some days. And immediately he preached Jesus in the synagogues, that He !s the Son of God. And all that heard him were astonished, and said, Is not this he who persecuted in Jerusalem those who called upon this name: and came hither for that intent, that he might carry them bound to the chief priest? But Saul increased much more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, affirming that this is the Christ.
GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Galatian 2: 8-9
He Who worked in Peter for the apostleship, worked also in me among the Gentiles: and they recognized the grace of God that was given to me. V. The grace of God in me has not been fruitless; but His grace always remains in me. Alleluia, alleluia. V. A great saint is Paul, a vessel of election, he is indeed worthy to be glorified, for he was made worthy to sit upon one of the twelve thrones. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Matt. 19:27-29
At that time, Peter said to Jesus, Behold we have left all and followed You; what then shall we have? And Jesus said to them, Amen I say to you that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man shall sit on the throne of His glory, shall also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Ps 138:17
To me, Your friends, O God, are made exceedingly honorable; their principality is exceedingly strengthened.
O Lord, make holy the offerings of Your people, through the prayer of Paul, Your Apostle, that those things which You have established as pleasing to You may be more pleasing through his patronal intercession. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
For ST. PETER
We beseech You, Lord, may the prayer of the blessed Apostle Peter recommend the petitions and offerings of Your Church, so that what we celebrate in his honor may obtain forgiveness for us. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
PREFACE of the Apostles
It it truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, to entreat Thee humbly, O Lord, that Thou wouldst not desert Thy flock, O everlasting Shepherd, but, through Thy blessed Apostles, wouldst keep it under Thy constant protection; that it may be governed by those same rulers, whom as vicars of Thy work, Thou didst set over it to be its pastors. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying: Holy, Holy, Holy,
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Matthew 19:28-29
Amen I say to you, that you who have left all things, and followed Me, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting.
Made holy by the sacrament of salvation, we beseech You, O Lord, that the prayers of him under whose patronal care You have granted us to be ruled may never fail us. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
For ST. PETER
O Lord, may the gift we offer bring us joy, that as we praise Your wondrous work in Your Apostle Peter, so through him may we share Your generous forgiveness. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.