If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.
Deus, in adiutórium meum inténde.
Dómine, ad adiuvándum me festína.
Glória Patri et Fílio*
et Spirítui Sancto.
Sicut erat in princípio et nunc et semper*
et in sǽcula sæculórum.
O God, come to our aid.
O Lord, make haste to help us.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
Pressi malórum póndere
te, Paule, adímus súpplices,
qui certa largus désuper
dabis salútis pígnora.
Nam tu beáto cóncitus
divíni amóris ímpetu,
quos insecútor óderas,
defénsor inde amplécteris.
Amóris, eia, prístini
ne sis, precámur, ímmemor,
et nos supérnæ lánguidos
in spem redúcas grátiæ.
Te deprecánte flóreat
ignára damni cáritas,
quam nulla turbent iúrgia
nec ullus error sáuciet.
O grata cælo víctima,
te, lux amórque Géntium,
o Paule, clarum víndicem,
nos te patrónum póscimus.
Laus Trinitáti, cántica
sint sempitérnæ glóriæ,
quæ nos boni certáminis
tecum corónet prǽmiis. Amen.
The eternal gifts of Christ the King,
The Apostles’ glory let us sing;
And all with hearts of gladness raise
Due hymns of thankful love and praise.
For they the Church’s princes are,
Triumphant leaders in the war,
In heavenly courts a warrior band,
True lights to lighten every land.
Theirs is the steadfast faith of saints,
And hope that never yields nor faints,
The love of Christ in perfect glow
That lays the prince of this world low.
In them the Father’s glory shone,
In them the will of God the Son,
In them exults the Holy Ghost,
Through them rejoice the heavenly host.
Psalm 18 (19)
Psalm 63 (64)
Psalm 96 (97)
℣. Miserátor et miséricors Dóminus.
℟. Longánimis et multum miséricors.
℣. The Lord is compassion and love.
℟. He is slow to anger and rich in mercy.
Revelavit Filium suum in me ut evangelizarem
11Notum enim vobis fácio, fratres, evangélium, quod evangelizátum est a me, quia non est secúndum hóminem; 12neque enim ego ab hómine accépi illud neque dídici, sed per revelatiónem Iesu Christi. 13Audístis enim conversatiónem meam aliquándo in Iudaísmo quóniam supra modum persequébar ecclésiam Dei et expugnábam illam 14et proficiébam in Iudaísmo supra multos coætáneos in génere meo, abundántius æmulátor exsístens paternárum meárum traditiónum. 15Cum autem plácuit Deo, qui me segregávit de útero matris meæ et vocávit per grátiam suam, 16ut reveláret Fílium suum in me, ut evangelizárem illum in géntibus, contínuo non cóntuli cum carne et sánguine 17neque ascéndi Hierosólymam ad antecessóres meos apóstolos, sed ábii in Arábiam et íterum revérsus sum Damáscum.
18Deínde post annos tres ascéndi Hierosólymam vidére Cepham et mansi apud eum diébus quíndecim; 19álium autem apostolórum non vidi nisi Iacóbum fratrem Dómini. 20Quæ autem scribo vobis, ecce coram Deo quia non méntior. 21Deínde veni in partes Sýriæ et Cilíciæ. 22Eram autem ignótus fácie ecclésiis Iudǽæ, quæ sunt in Christo, 23tantum autem audítum habébant: «Qui persequebátur nos aliquándo, nunc evangelízat fidem, quam aliquándo expugnábat», 24et in me glorificábant Deum.
The fact is, brothers, and I want you to realise this, the Good News I preached is not a human message that I was given by men, it is something I learnt only through a revelation of Jesus Christ. You must have heard of my career as a practising Jew, how merciless I was in persecuting the Church of God, how much damage I did to it, how I stood out among other Jews of my generation, and how enthusiastic I was for the traditions of my ancestors.
Then God, who had specially chosen me while I was still in my mother’s womb, called me through his grace and chose to reveal his Son in me, so that I might preach the Good News about him to the pagans. I did not stop to discuss this with any human being, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were already apostles before me, but I went off to Arabia at once and later went straight back from there to Damascus. Even when after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him for fifteen days, I did not see any of the other apostles; I only saw James, the brother of the Lord, and I swear before God that what I have just written is the literal truth. After that I went to Syria and Cilicia, and was still not known by sight to the churches of Christ in Judaea, who had heard nothing except that their one-time persecutor was now preaching the faith he had previously tried to destroy; and they gave glory to God for me.
℟. Evangélium quod evangelizátum est a me, non est secúndum hóminem;* Neque enim ego ab hómine accépi illud, sed per revelatiónem Iesu Christi.
℣. Est véritas Christi in me, quóniam gratis evangélium Dei evangelizávi vobis.* Neque.
℟. The gospel you heard me preach is no human invention.* I did not take it over from any man, I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
℣. As the truth of Christ lives in me, it is God’s gospel that I preached to you.* I did not take it over from any man, I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
Pro Christi amore Paulus omnia sustinuit
Quid sit homo, et quanta natúræ nostræ nobílitas, quantǽque capax virtútis hoc sit ánimal, vel præcípue ex ómnibus Paulus osténdit. Cotídie célsior, cotídie assurgébat ardéntior, et inténtis sibi perículis nova semper alacritáte pugnábat, idque signíficans dicébat: Eórum quæ retro oblivíscens, in ea vero quæ prióra sunt exténdens me, qui cum sibi iam mortem imminéntem vidéret, ad communiónem delectationémque gáudii álios provocábat, dicens: Gaudéte, et congratulámini mihi; ac perículis, iniúriis opprobriísque propósitis rursus exsúltat, et Corínthiis scribens, ait: Pláceo mihi in infirmitátibus, in contuméliis, in persecutiónibus; cum útique hæc ipsa esse díceret arma iustítiæ, osténdens hinc sibi fructum máximum proveníre.
Itaque cum inter médias inimicórum versarétur insídias, ovans tamen de omni eórum referébat impugnatióne victórias, et ubíque cæsus verbéribus, afféctus iniúriis atque maledíctis, quasi triumpháles pompas ágeret, crebra tropǽa strúeret, gloriabátur, gratiásque referébat Deo, dicens: Deo autem grátias, qui semper triúmphat in nos. Itaque ad confusiónem et iniúrias, quas ob prædicándi stúdium sustinébat, magis quam nos ad honórum oblectaménta properábat, mortem pótius quam nos vitam áppetens; paupertátem quam opuléntiam; et multo ámplius labórem desíderans, quam álii réquiem post labórem. Unum enim illi formidándum erat atque metuéndum, offénsa nimírum Dei, nec quidquam áliud omníno. Ergo nec desiderábile illi áliud erat, nisi placére semper Deo.
Quod autem erat maius ómnibus, Christi amóre fruebátur; cum hoc beatiórem se cunctis putábat; sine hoc autem neque dominátuum, neque principátuum sócius esse cupiébat, sed cum hac dilectióne magis esse extrémus optábat, immo étiam ex número punitórum, quam sine hac inter summos et honóre sublímes.
Hoc enim erat illi máximum et singuláre torméntum, ab hac caritáte discédere: hæc illi erat gehénna, hæc sola pœna, hæc infiníta et intoleránda supplícia.
Sicut étiam pérfrui caritáte Christi, hoc illi vita, hoc mundus, hoc ángelus, hoc præséntia, hoc futúra, hoc regnum, hoc promíssio, hoc bona videbátur innúmera; præter hoc vero nihil in trístium vel iucundórum parte ponébat. Horum enim quæ hic habéntur, nihil ásperum, nihil étiam suáve reputábat.
Sic despiciébat univérsa quæ cérnimus, ut solet herba iam putrefácta contémni. Tyránnos vero ipsos, ac pópulos spirántes furórem, velut quosdam esse cúlices existimábat.
Mortem vero et cruciátus et mille supplícia, quasi ludum putábat esse puerórum, dúmmodo propter Christum áliquid sustinéret.
For love of Christ, Paul bore every burden
Paul, more than anyone else, has shown us what man really is, and in what our nobility consists, and of what virtue this particular animal is capable. Each day he aimed ever higher; each day he rose up with greater ardour and faced with new eagerness the dangers that threatened him. He summed up his attitude in the words: I forget what is behind me and push on to what lies ahead. When he saw death imminent, he bade others share his joy: Rejoice and be glad with me! And when danger, injustice and abuse threatened, he said: I am content with weakness, mistreatment and persecution. These he called the weapons of righteousness, thus telling us that he derived immense profit from them.
Thus, amid the traps set for him by his enemies, with exultant heart he turned their every attack into a victory for himself; constantly beaten, abused and cursed, he boasted of it as though he were celebrating a triumphal procession and taking trophies home, and offered thanks to God for it all: Thanks be to God who is always victorious in us! This is why he was far more eager for the shameful abuse that his zeal in preaching brought upon him than we are for the most pleasing honours, more eager for death than we are for life, for poverty than we are for wealth; he yearned for toil far more than others yearn for rest after toil. The one thing he feared, indeed dreaded, was to offend God; nothing else could sway him. Therefore, the only thing he really wanted was always to please God.
The most important thing of all to him, however, was that he knew himself to be loved by Christ. Enjoying this love, he considered himself happier than anyone else; were he without it, it would be no satisfaction to be the friend of principalities and powers. He preferred to be thus loved and be the least of all, or even to be among the damned, than to be without that love and be among the great and honoured.
To be separated from that love was, in his eyes, the greatest and most extraordinary of torments; the pain of that loss would alone have been hell, and endless, unbearable torture.
So too, in being loved by Christ he thought of himself as possessing life, the world, the angels, present and future, the kingdom, the promise and countless blessings. Apart from that love nothing saddened or delighted him; for nothing earthly did he regard as bitter or sweet.
Paul set no store by the things that fill our visible world, any more than a man sets value on the withered grass of the field. As for tyrannical rulers or the people enraged against him, he paid them no more heed than gnats. Death itself and pain and whatever torments might come were but child’s play to him, provided that thereby he might bear some burden for the sake of Christ.
℟. Misericórdiam Dei consecútus sum, quia ignórans feci in incredulitáte,* Superabundávit autem grátia Dómini nostri, cum fide et dilectióne quæ sunt in Christo Iesu.
℣. Non sum dignus vocári apóstolus, quóniam persecútus sum ecclésiam Dei.* Superabundávit.
℟. Because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, God dealt with me mercifully;* the grace of our Lord was lavished upon me, with the faith and love which are ours in Christ Jesus.
℣. I persecuted the Church of God and am therefore not fit to be called an apostle;* the grace of our Lord was lavished upon me, with the faith and love which are ours in Christ Jesus.
Te Deum laudámus:* te Dóminum confitémur.
Te ætérnum Patrem,* omnis terra venerátur.
Tibi omnes ángeli,*
tibi cæli et univérsæ potestátes:
tibi chérubim et séraphim*
incessábili voce proclámant:
Sanctus,* Sanctus,* Sanctus*
Dóminus Deus Sábaoth.
Pleni sunt cæli et terra* maiestátis glóriæ tuæ.
Te gloriósus* Apostolórum chorus,
te prophetárum* laudábilis númerus,
te mártyrum candidátus* laudat exércitus.
Te per orbem terrárum*
sancta confitétur Ecclésia,
Patrem* imménsæ maiestátis;
venerándum tuum verum* et únicum Fílium;
Sanctum quoque* Paráclitum Spíritum.
Tu rex glóriæ,* Christe.
Tu Patris* sempitérnus es Fílius.
Tu, ad liberándum susceptúrus hóminem,*
non horruísti Vírginis úterum.
Tu, devícto mortis acúleo,*
aperuísti credéntibus regna cælórum.
Tu ad déxteram Dei sedes,* in glória Patris.
Iudex créderis* esse ventúrus.
Te ergo quæsumus, tuis fámulis súbveni,*
quos pretióso sánguine redemísti.
Ætérna fac cum sanctis tuis* in glória numerári.
Haec ultima pars hymni ad libitum omitti potest:
Salvum fac pópulum tuum, Dómine,*
et bénedic hereditáti tuæ.
Et rege eos,* et extólle illos usque in ætérnum.
Per síngulos dies* benedícimus te;
et laudámus nomen tuum in sæculum,*
et in sæculum sæculi.
Dignáre, Dómine, die isto*
sine peccáto nos custodíre.
Miserére nostri, Dómine,* miserére nostri.
Fiat misericórdia tua, Dómine, super nos,*
quemádmodum sperávimus in te.
In te, Dómine, sperávi:*
non confúndar in ætérnum.
God, we praise you; Lord, we proclaim you!
You, the Father, the eternal –
all the earth venerates you.
All the angels, all the heavens, every power –
The cherubim, the seraphim –
unceasingly, they cry:
“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts:
heaven and earth are full of the majesty of your glory!”
The glorious choir of Apostles –
The noble ranks of prophets –
The shining army of martyrs –
all praise you.
Throughout the world your holy Church proclaims you.
– Father of immeasurable majesty,
– True Son, only-begotten, worthy of worship,
– Holy Spirit, our Advocate.
– You are the king of glory.
– You are the Father’s eternal Son.
– You, to free mankind, did not disdain a Virgin’s womb.
– You defeated the sharp spear of Death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to those who believe in you.
– You sit at God’s right hand, in the glory of the Father.
– You will come, so we believe, as our Judge.
And so we ask of you: give help to your servants, whom you set free at the price of your precious blood.
Number them among your chosen ones in eternal glory.
The final part of the hymn may be omitted:
Bring your people to safety, Lord, and bless those who are your inheritance.
Rule them and lift them high for ever.
Day by day we bless you, Lord: we praise you for ever and for ever.
Of your goodness, Lord, keep us without sin for today.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Let your pity, Lord, be upon us, as much as we trust in you.
In you, Lord, I trust: let me never be put to shame.
Deus, qui univérsum mundum beáti Pauli apóstoli prædicatióne docuísti, da nobis, quǽsumus, ut, cuius conversiónem hódie celebrámus, per eius ad te exémpla gradiéntes, tuæ simus mundo testes veritátis.
Per Dóminum nostrum Iesum Christum, Fílium tuum,
qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus,
per ómnia sǽcula sæculórum.
Let us pray.
Today, Lord, we celebrate the conversion of Saint Paul,
your chosen vessel for carrying your name to the whole world.
Help us to make our way towards you by following in his footsteps,
and by witnessing to your truth before the men and women of our day.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
(one) God, for ever and ever.
– Deo grátias.
Let us praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.
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