(In a sense this is also the foundational feast of the Church in Rome).
The Holy Father has declared 2008 to be the Year of St. Paul.
The pope said the Pauline year will run from June 28, 2008, to June 29, 2009, to mark the approximately 2,000th anniversary of the saint's birth.Here's a suggestion from the Holy Father that yours truly really wants to follow up on ... :)
He made the announcement while presiding over a vespers service at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome June 28, the eve of the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, patron saints of Rome.
"Dear brothers and sisters, as in the (church's) beginning, today, too, Christ needs apostles ready to sacrifice themselves. He needs witnesses and martyrs like St. Paul," the pope said.
The Pauline year will feature numerous special liturgies and events in Rome, the pope said, but should also be celebrated in local churches and in the sanctuaries, religious orders and other institutions that have a special link to St. Paul.
In a special way, the Pauline year will be ecumenical, reflecting the saint's commitment to the unity and harmony among all Christians, he said. The pope's announcement was met with applause in the crowded basilica.
Seated near the altar were representatives of other Christian churches, in particular a delegation from the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The pope made a point of greeting them warmly and reiterating their "common commitment to do everything possible to hasten the time of full communion between the Christian East and West."
He said that during the Pauline year particular care should be taken to welcome Catholics from various countries who may want to make penitential pilgrimages to the saint's tomb.And isn't it fantastic that the Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle will be celebrating its 150th anniversary during this special jubilee year?