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During General Audience, Pope recalls how St. Paul faced preaching in Athens

During the General Audience, the pope recalled the arrival of St. Paul in a city of idols: Athens.

Pope Francis stressed that the apostle was not frightened in different environment, but upon seeing an altar of an unknown god, “Paul states that God, the transcendent Creator of the world, has indeed made himself known, and sent his Son among us to call all people to conversion and the fullness of truth.”

Although many did not convert, the pope remembered that Paul's efforts were not useless, because some converted and the seed of faith was left in Athens.


Dear brothers and sisters:

In the catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles, Apostle Paul preaches before Areopagus in Athens, the capital of the pagan world. Paul appeals to his hearers' religiosity and desire of truth, preaching the Gospel in a city of idols. When he sees an altar to an unknown god, Paul says that God has made himself present and has sent his Son to convert and fill people with truth.

When Paul speaks of Christ's death and resurrection, the listeners lose interest. To the Greeks, the power and wisdom of God revealed in the mystery of the cross, appears foolish. However, his preaching converts some of the Greek people, including Dionysius the Areopagite and Damaris.

When thinking of one's own culture, one must be sensitive to people's longings to propose the mystery and love of Christ.

I greet those from English-speaking areas, especially those from England, Scotland, Malta, Zimbabwe, India, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, the Philippines and the United States of America. God bless you all!