Bliain Naoimh Pól - Year of St. Paul
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St. Paul fallen from his horse

Naomh Pól Aspal - St. Paul Apostle

The figure above of the Conversion of St. Paul stands in front of the Seminary of the Missionary Society of St. Paul in Abuja, Nigeria. The backgound music you hear is "Be thou my vision" ("Bí Thuse mo Shúile").

Saul whom we all know today as St. Paul was a Jewish Talmudic student, Pharisee, and tent-maker by trade. born as Saul at Tarsus, Cilicia (modern Turkey). Saul the Jew hated and persecuted Christians as heretical, even assisting at the stoning of Saint Stephen the Martyr. On his way to Damascus to arrest another group of them, he "was knocked off his horse," fell to the ground, struck blind by a heavenly light, and given the message that in persecuting Christians, he was persecuting Christ. The experience had a profound spiritual effect on him, causing his conversion to Christianity. He was baptized, changed his name to Paul to reflect his new persona, and began travelling, preaching and writing. Author of much of the New Testament of the Sacred Scriptures, he was martyred in Rome by beheading circa 65 AD. His conversion is celebrated in the church on January 25th. What follows is the scripture relating his conversion.

Gníomhartha na nAspal
dir an dá linn lean Sól ag bagairt báis ar dheisceabail an Tiarna. Chuaigh sé go dtí an t-ardsagart

Acts of the Apostles
9:1 But Saul, still breathing threats and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest,

2. ag lorg litreacha uaidh le tabhairt chun na sionagóg i nDamaisc i dtreo, cibé duine dá bhfaigheadh sé ann, fear nó bean, a lean an bealach, go ndéanfadh sé iad a ghabháil agus a thabhairt ar ais go Iarúsailéim.

9:2 and asked for letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

3. Bhí sé ar an mbóthar ann agus é ag druidim le Damaisc nuair a las solas ón spéir ina thimpeall de phreib.

9:3 As he traveled, it happened that he got close to Damascus, and suddenly a light from the sky shone around him.

4.Thit sé chun talaimh agus chuala sé an guth á rá leis: “A Shóil, a Shóil, cén fáth a bhfuil tú do mo ghéarleanúint?”

9:4 He fell on the earth, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

5. “Cé thú féin, a Thiarna?” d’fhiafraigh Sól. D’fhreagair an guth: “ Is mise Íosa, an té a bhfuil tú á ghéarleanúint.

9:5 He said, “Who are you, Lord?” The Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting

.

6 Ach éirigh i do sheasamh, gabh isteach sa chathair agus déarfar leat cad is déanta duit.”

9:6 But rise up, and enter into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

7 Na fir a bhí ag taisteal leis, rinneadh staic díobh: bhí an guth le cloisteáil acu ach gan duine le feiceáil.

9:7 The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the sound, but seeing no one.

8 D’éirigh Sól den talamh, ach nuair a d’oscail sé na súile ní raibh aon léas radhairc aige. Rug siad ar láimh air agus sheol isteach sa chathair é.

9:8 Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened, he saw no one. They led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.

9 Agus bhí sé ar feadh trí lá gan radharc agus gan greim ná bolgam a bhlas.

9:9 He was without sight for three days, and neither ate nor drank.

10 Bhí, i nDamaisc, deisceabal darbh ainm Anainias agus labhair an Tiarna in aisling leis: “A Anainias,” ar sé. “Teacht, a Thiarna,” d’fhreagair Anainias.

9:10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias!” He said, “Behold, it’s me, Lord.”

11 “Éirigh,” arsa an Tiarna leis, “agus gluais leat go dtí an tSráid Dhíreach mar a thugtar uirthi, agus loirg i dteach Iúdáis fear ó Tharsas arb ainm dó Sól. Tá sé ag guí ann

9:11 The Lord said to him, “Arise, and go to the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judah for one named Saul, a man of Tarsus. For behold, he is praying,

12 agus chonaic sé in aisling fear darbh ainm Anainias ag teacht isteach chuige agus ag leagan a lámh air chun go mbeadh a radharc ar ais aige.”

9:12 and in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in, and laying his hands on him, that he might receive his sight.”

13 Ach d’fhreagair Anainias: “A Thiarna, chuala mé iomrá ar an bhfear seo óna lán daoine agus ar a bhfuil d’olc déanta aige ar an bpobal naofa in Iarúsailéim,

9:13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he did to your saints at Jerusalem.

14 agus anseo féin tá údarás aige ó na hardsagairt gach duine dá nglaonn ar d’ainmse a ghabháil.”

9:14 Here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.”

15 “Gluais leat,” arsa an Tiarna leis, “mar is é sin an duine atá tofa agamsa chun m’ainm a thabhairt i láthair na bpágánach agus na ríthe agus i láthair chlann Iosrael.

9:15 But the Lord said to him, “Go your way, for he is my chosen vessel to bear my name before the nations and kings, and the children of Israel.

16 Taispeánfaidh mise dó a bhfuil le fulaingt aige ar son m’ainmse.”

9:16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for my name’s sake.”

17 D’imigh Anainias leis, agus ar dhul isteach sa teach dó leag sé a lámha air, á rá: “A Shóil, a bhráthair, is é an Tiarna a sheol chugat mé – an Íosa a thaispeáin é féin duit ar do bhealach anseo – chun go mbeadh do radharc arís agat agus go líonfaí den Spiorad Naomh thú.”

9:17 Ananias departed, and entered into the house. Laying his hands on him, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord, who appeared to you on the road by which you came, has sent me, that you may receive your sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

18 Agus de phreib thit mar a bheadh screamh dá shúile agus tháinig a radharc arís dó; agus ar éirí dó ina sheasamh, baisteadh é.

9:18 Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he received his sight. He arose and was baptized.

19 Agus tar éis dó rud a ithe tháinig a neart arís ann. D’fhan Sól ar feadh tamaill leis na deisceabail i nDamaisc.

9:19 He took food and was strengthened. Saul stayed several days with the disciples who were at Damascus.

20 Thosaigh sé láithreach ag fógairt sna sionagóga gurb é Íosa mac Dé.

9:20 Immediately in the synagogues he proclaimed the Christ, that he is the Son of God.

21 Tháinig alltacht ar a raibh ag éisteacht leis agus deiridís: “Nach é sin an duine a rinne scrios in Iarúsailéim ar a mbíodh ag glaoch ar an ainm sin? Nach é gnó a thug anseo é iad a ghabháil agus a thabhairt ar ais go dtí na hArdsagairt !”

9:21 All who heard him were amazed, and said, “Isn’t this he who in Jerusalem made havoc of those who called on this name? And he had come here intending to bring them bound before the chief priests !”

22 Ach is ag dul i neart a bhí Sól agus chuir sé mearbhall ar Ghiúdaigh Dhamaisce toisc é bheith ag dearbhú gurb é Íosa an Meisias

9:22 But Saul increased more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived at Damascus, proving that this is the Christ.

23 I gceann tamaill mhaith chuaigh na Giúdaigh i gcomhairle le chéile chun é a mharú,

9:23 When many days were fulfilled, the Jews conspired together to kill him,

24 ach fuair Sól eolas ar a gcomhcheilg. Bhídís ag faire na ngeataí go géar de lá agus d’oíche chun é a mharú,

9:24 but their plot became known to Saul. They watched the gates both day and night that they might kill him,

25 ach thóg na deisceabail leo é san oíche agus lig síos i gciseán ar cheann téide é trí scoilt san fhalla.

9:25 but his disciples took him by night, and let him down through the wall, lowering him in a basket.

Toward the end of his life Paul (sketched below) wrote to his follower and companion, Timothy:

Sketch of St. Paul  

"As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing"....Paul. Timothy 4: 1-8

Paul died in Rome during the reign of the Emperor Nero in the year 64 AD. He was beheaded.

 

Background music:

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart ! Naught be all else to me save that thou art ! Thou my best thought by day or by night, waking or sleeping thy presence my light !

Courtesy of Vivian & Jack Irishpage.com, November 2008.
Replay background music: Be thou my vision
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25 January, Feast of the conversion of St. Paul
29 June, Feast of Saints Peter and Paul
18 November Feast of the dedication of the Basilicas of St. Peter and of St. Paul)


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