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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Friday, July 04, 2008
Benedict XVI has declared 28th June 2008- 29th June 2009 the year of St. Paul in celebration of the 2,000th anniversary of the saint's birth. In his homily at St Paul’s Basilica he said: "This 'Pauline Year' will take place in a special way in Rome, where for 2,000 years under the papal altar of this basilica, lies the tomb that according to experts and undisputed tradition has conserved the remains of the apostle Paul. Also, in every part of the world, similar initiatives will be organized in dioceses, sanctuaries and places of prayer by religious institutions.

“The Apostle of the Gentiles, who dedicated himself to the spreading of the good news to all peoples, spent himself for the unity and harmony of all Christians, May he guide us and protect us in this bi-millenary celebration, helping us to advance in the humble and sincere search for the full unity of all the members of the mystical body of Christ."

Pope Benedict clearly believes that St Paul is still an important guide for our times. In some way, we may therefore be able to receive inspiration during this ‘Pauline Year’ and find renewed guidance and protection in our faith. In his letter to the Roman’s Paul wrote “All things work for good for those who love God.” (Rm 8:28) This was shown in his own life which was dedicated to the persecution of Christians and which was converted by God’s grace to become a shining witness of missionary love for Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Let us not be discouraged in any way on our path toward God, for He can indeed use ‘all things’ to ‘work for good’. We may feel we are too small or weak to be part of God’s plan for the whole human race. Under the powerful example of St Paul however, we can be confident that it is precisely through us in these days that the Good News of the Gospel is to be brought to the world around us.

STOP PRESS: This Saturday the Cardinal will inaugurate the Year with a Mass in the Cathedral at 3:30 pm. He will bless the icon of St Paul which is to tour the diocese throughout the Jubilee Year.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 1:17 pm