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Rome Reports

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Pope during General Audience warns against hate towards those who think differently

During the General Audience, the pope reflected on Saul from Tarsus, who, “with the authority of the high priest, persecuted Christians, being unyielding to those who thought differently than him.”

The future apostle transformed when Jesus appeared to him and “made it clear that to persecute a member of the Church was to persecute God.”

From then on, Saul saw himself and others through God's eyes: his enemies became his friends, his energy to persecute those who think differently became energy to evangelize, stirring faith in many hearts.


Dear Brothers and Sisters: 

Continuing the catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles, we now reflect on St. Paul's conversion from prosecutor to preacher. His life turned around when the Risen Lord appeared to him and asked, “Why are you persecuting me?”

This encounter with Jesus began the transformation from Saul into Paul: God's “chosen instrument” brought the Lord's name to all nations. Paul's passage from “blindness to sight” symbolizes him seeing the world with new eyes, his passage from “death to life.”

The Church's immersion in the Paschal Mystery at baptism allows Christians to start a new life, a fresh viewpoint of God and others, as it did for Paul. Christians must pray to experience all of God's love, which can turn stony hearts soft and capable of loving others as Jesus did.

I greet those who speak English in today's Audience, especially those from England, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Nigeria, Uganda, Belize, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Korea, Canada, and the United States of America. May God bless you all!