Thank you for your patience.
In the meanwhile, here is a very interesting news item, from Italy, on one of my personal heroes. HT, Powerline. THe report, in light of a higholighted citation below, is very relevant to our current emphasis on understanding our times:
CNA: St Paul burial place 'confirmed'
Catholic News Agency (www.catholicnewsagency.com)
The tomb has been long-revered by tradition as that of St. Paul; however, archaeologist Giorgio Filippi says that scientific evidence now backs up the evidence of tradition that the tomb belongs to the great saint of the early church.
Filippi said his team had found a Roman sarcophagus "exactly underneath the epigraph Paulo Apostolo Mart (Paul the apostle and martyr) at the base of the cathedral's main altar," reported the Rome-based ANSA.
"It has a hole on top through which pieces of cloth could be pushed, touching the relic and becoming holy in their turn," Filippi said.
Paul was a Roman Jew, born in Tarsus, in modern-day Turkey, who started out trying to fight Christianity but later converted after seeing a shining light on the road to Damascus.
The saint, who called himself the apostle to the Gentiles, was a great traveler and writer. His 14 letters, which form part of the New Testament, are largely written to churches that he had founded or visited.
Paulo Apostolo Mart . . .
I almost want to stop at that, but I think it is well worth excerpting his opening salvo in his letter to the same city, circa AD 57, and his last words to his son in the Faith, Timothy, circa AD 64:
RO 1:1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God-- 2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3 regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, 4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5 Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. 6 And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ . . . .Now, it is our turn to take up the torch of truth, and run with it, cost what it may.
2TI 4:1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
2TI 4:6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing . . . .
So, again, let us reflect that crisp, ever so telling epitaph:Paulo Apostolo Mart . . .And, again:Paulo Apostolo Mart . . .Oh, that I were a poet to put in verse what passes through my heart on reading those words. But, sadly, I am not.
So, let us hear those words just one more time, and reflect on whether we are worthy to walk in his footsteps:
Paulo Apostolo Mart . . .