"Paul Wants To Speak With Us Today"

On the eve of the Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul this year, Pope Benedict XVI inaugurated the Pauline Jubilee Year to commemmorate the bimillenary of St Paul’s birth. The jubilee runs through June 29, 2009.

“We have come together not to reflect on a past history, irrevocably surpassed. Paul wants to speak with us today,” the Holy Father said in his homily. “That is why I wanted to convoke this special 'Pauline year': to listen to him and to drink from him, as our teacher, in the faith and truth, in which are rooted the reasons for unity among the disciples of Christ.”

St. Paul is not a mere historical figure, but someone who has a message for us today. In this jubilee year, the Pope invites us not only to ask ourselves ‘Who was Paul?’ “Above all, we ask ourselves 'Who is Paul?' 'What is he saying to me?’”

In response to this invitation of the Pope, we are publishing this issue specially dedicated to the Pauline Jubilee Year. The chosen articles can orient us in understanding better the person, thoughts, and writings of the Apostle. They can provide us answers to the basic questions which might arise as we look deeply into his life: Who was Paul before his conversion? What formation did he receive during his teenage years? Is the story of his conversion still relevant in our own generation? How did the social and cultural environment of the time influence him and his works? How do we classify his works? What are the main theological lines of his epistles?

We hope that this issue contributes to the realization of the goal the Pope specified in a catechesis: “And this is the goal of the Pauline Year: to learn from St Paul, to learn faith, to learn Christ, and finally to learn the way of upright living.”