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Venerated Saint Paul (vegetarian): The Apostle to the Gentiles, Part 2 of 2

2024-02-18
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In Philippi, the chief city of Macedonia, Saint Paul established His first Christian church. It is here that He expelled a “spirit of python” out of a possessed local slave girl. The slave owners, however, were using the spirit’s fortune-telling ability within the girl to make money, and they became extremely upset with Him. As a result, local authorities arrested Paul and Silas. They were humiliated, beaten, and imprisoned. Saint Paul and His followers continued to face harsh opposition and mistreatment throughout their journey. Despite this, Saint Paul resumed His missionary duties, speaking to the people and teaching in synagogues, and He continued building His group of followers. His faith in God remained steadfast. In Romans 5:3-5, Paul the Apostle stated, “[We] rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s Love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

Saint Paul was imprisoned in Jerusalem for two years, where He was unable to obtain a fair trial. He finally demanded His right as a Roman to have a hearing in the emperor’s court. He was transferred to Rome and placed under house arrest for two additional years. During this time, Saint Paul continued to preach the teachings of Lord Jesus to interested believers until His tragic passing in Rome a little after 60 AD. In Romans 14:8, Saint Paul said, “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.”

During Saint Paul’s missionary journeys, He stayed connected with His followers through letters called “epistles.” These letters, dated between 50 and 60 AD, are of great historical and religious significance. Not only do these documents provide a written record of the Apostle’s life, but they have also become a source of systematic theology in Christianity and served as Christian ideology. Through His letters, Saint Paul provided early Christians with hope and encouragement during times of persecution and despair. He reminded His followers to lead a virtuous and Spirit-led life, where one exists in the state of being “in Christ.”
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