With Vespers at St. Paul Outside the Walls on Saturday evening, on the eve of the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Pope Benedict XVI will inaugurate a year dedicated to St. Paul!
The year marks the 2,000th anniversary of the birth of the Apostle of the Gentiles, and is an invitation by the Holy Father for the faithful to learn more about St. Paul.
In his original announcement for the year, the Holy Father suggested Pauline spirituality should inspire liturgical, cultural, pastoral and social initiatives. He encouraged the study of the Pauline letters and dioceses throughout the world to establish pilgrimage sites. He was hopeful that special efforts would be made by the faithful to visit the Apostle's tomb in Rome.
The Holy Father also stressed that the year should have an "ecumenical dimension."
"The Apostle to the Gentiles, who was especially committed to taking the Good News to all peoples, left no stones unturned for unity and harmony among all Christians." said the Pope in last year's statement, "May he deign to guide and protect us in this bimillenial celebration, helping us to progress in the humble and sincere search for the full unity of all the members of Christ's Mystical Body."
Pope Benedict is leading by example by inviting the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and representatives of other Churches and Christian communities to the opening Vespers service on Saturday. Bartholomew will also attend the Holy Mass celebrated on Sunday for the occasion of the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.
If you're looking for more information on St. Paul, the Archdiocese of Toronto has a wonderful website resource dedicated to him. You can check that out HERE
You may also want to visit the official website of Rome's St. Paul Outside the Walls by clicking HERE