General Audiences: St. Paul the Apostle
Pope Benedict XVI
1. Paul, the Apostle: Teacher for Today
On 2 July 2008, at the General Audience in the Paul VI Audience Hall, three days after the beginning of the Pauline Year (29 June 2008 29 June 2009), the Holy Father announced to the faithful that he was beginning a new series of Catecheses on "the great Apostle St Paul". In this first of the series, the Apostle's cultural context is described.

God Wants Normal Saints
At the General Audience in the courtyard of the Papal Summer Residence at Castel Gandolfo on Wednesday, 20 August 2008, the Holy Father reflected on several Saints, "remarkable examples of holiness", who are commemorated in the liturgical calendar this week: St. John Eudes, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Pope St. Pius X and St. Rose of Lima.

2. Paul: Non-Stop Venture for the Sake of the Gospel
On 27 August 2008, the Holy Father arrived at the Vatican by helicopter from Castel Gandolfo for the General Audience in the Paul VI Auditorium. The Pope's Catechesis provided dates, places, and other details in the life of St. Paul.

3. St. Paul's Conversion and Ours
On 3 September 2008, the Holy Father arrived at the Vatican by helicopter from Castel Gandolfo for the General Audience in the Paul VI Audience Hall. Returning to the Apostle to the Gentiles, the Pope commented on the turning point in St. Paul's life, his conversion. It was not merely a psychological experience, but an encounter with the Risen Lord.

4. Transformed by Grace, at Service of Christ
On 10 September 2008, in the Paul VI Audience Hall the Holy Father continued his General Audience commentaries on St. Paul, this time examining St. Paul's conception of what it means to be an apostle of Jesus Christ.

On the Message of Lourdes
In his General Audience, 17 September 2008, held in the Paul VI Hall, the Holy Father reviewed his Sept. 12-15 apostolic trip to Paris and Lourdes.

5. Christ Lives and Speaks to Us Today
At the General Audience in St. Peter's Square on 24 September 2008, the Holy Father continued his Catecheses on the life of St. Paul, focusing this week on Paul's relationship with the Church and the other Apostles.

6. Charity: Gratitude for God's Ineffable Gift
At the General Audience in St. Peter's Square on 1 October 2008, the Holy Father continued his catechesis on St. Paul's relationship with the Twelve, analyzing two events: the Council of Jerusalem and the episode in Antioch when Paul rebuked Peter for abstaining from eating with the Gentiles.

7. Know Historical Jesus Beyond the Flesh
At the General Audience in St Peter's Square, 8 October 2008, the Holy Father commented on St Paul's relationship to the so-called "historical" or earthly Jesus. The Apostle knew many details about the life of Jesus, as well as the substance of His teaching.

8. The Church: Christ's Body, Not Ours
At the General Audience in St. Peter's Square, on 15 October 2008, the Holy Father reflected on St. Paul's teaching on the Church he had persecuted prior to his conversion. "Paul's only goal in his work of evangelization is to establish the community of believers in Christ."

9. Paradox of the Cross: Life from Death
At the General Audience in St. Peter's Square on 22 October 2008, the Holy Father reflected on the centrality of Jesus in the teaching of St. Paul, who portrayed Christ as the fulfilment of God's eternal plan of salvation. Jesus is the Wisdom of the sapiential books.

10. The Importance of the Cross of Christ
At the General Audience in St. Peter's Square on 29 October 2008, the Holy Father commented on the central place of the Cross of Jesus Christ in St. Paul's preaching. The Cross is God's power made perfect.

11. Theology of the Cross: Not a Theory
At the General Audience in St Peter's Square on 5 November 2008, the Holy Father commented on the resurrection of Christ in St. Paul's preaching. St. Paul brings us from the apparent absurdity of the Cross to the power of the resurrection, by which the divinity of Christ is proclaimed.

12. On the Lord's Second Coming
On 12 November 2008, at the General Audience in St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father continued his commentary on the Apostle to the Gentiles by focusing on St. Paul's teaching of the Lord's second coming. The expectation of Our Lord's return does not dispense us from working in this world, as shown by the parable of the talents.

13. Justification in Christ: God's Free Gift
At the General Audience on 19 November 2008, in St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father spoke on St Paul's teaching on our justification. We are made just not by the Mosaic Law, but by faith in Christ, which includes conforming to Christ in His charity.

14. Faith Active in Love Witnesses to the Free Gift of Justification in Christ
On 26 November 2008, in the Vatican's Paul VI Audience Hall, the Holy Father continued his Catechesis on St. Paul by commenting on the Apostle's teaching on faith and works in regard to justification. The apparent difference, the Pope observed, between St. Paul and St. James is one of emphasis, not of substance.

15. Nothing Triumphs over Christ's Light
On 3 December 2008, at the General Audience in the Vatican's Paul VI Audience Hall, the Holy Father considered St. Paul's teaching on the relationship between Adam, the first man, and Christ, the second Adam.

16. The Mystical Body of Christ Comes Alive in the Sacraments
On 10 December 2008, at the General Audience in the Vatican's Paul VI Audience Hall, the Holy Father spoke on the theology of the sacraments in St. Paul's writings. It is through the sacraments, primarily of Baptism and the Eucharist, that we enter into the new humanity established by Christ.

Christmas 2008: Rediscover Simplicity and Solidarity
On 17 December 2008, at the General Audience in the Vatican's Paul VI Audience Hall, the Holy Father interrupted his Catecheses on St. Paul to speak of Holy Christmas. The Pope spoke of God's humility, who became a Baby to overcome our arrogance.

17. The Time Has Come for True Worship
On 7 January 2009, at the General Audience in the Paul VI Audience Hall, continuing his Catecheses on the teaching of St Paul, the Holy Father focused on the meaning of "true worship" as highlighted in Paul's Letter to the Romans. True worship is not abstract moralizing, but the concrete offering of our daily lives.

18. The Church: A Body Vitalized by Christ's Commandments
On 14 January 2009, at the General Audience in the Paul VI Audience Hall, continuing his Catecheses on the teaching of St Paul, the Holy Father focused on the "twin" Letters, Colossians and Ephesians, which uniquely develop the theme of Christ as "Head".

19. St. Paul's Devotion to the One Lord and the Unity of His Church
At the General Audience, held in the Paul VI Auditorium on 21 January 2009, in the middle of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on the theme: "That they may become one in your hand" (Ez 37:17), the Holy Father thanked God for the progress made on the way to full unity.

20. The Essential Catholic Structure: Scripture and Tradition
On 28 January 2009, at the General Audience in the Paul VI Audience Hall, continuing his Catecheses on the teaching of St Paul, the Holy Father turned to the Pastoral Letters, focusing on the interdependence of Scripture and Tradition, as well as the universality of the Church and its hierarchy.

21. St. Paul: Our Guide to Christian Life
On 4 February 2009, at the General Audience in the Paul VI Audience Hall, the Holy Father commented on St. Paul's life and legacy. The Pope spoke of the Apostle's death, the early inclusion of his epistles in the liturgy, his impact on the Church Fathers and later theologians.


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