Traditions continue for a feast of St. Paul 65 years after announcement of Vatican II

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On January 25th, 65 years ago, Pope St. John XXIII announced his intention to convene an ecumenical council that would later become known as Vatican II.

He revealed this plan to a group of cardinals in Rome's Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls, where he was celebrating the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.

Almost seven decades later, this feast day is still commemorated in a similar way, with a celebration by the Pope at the very same Papal Basilica.

Usually on this day, the Pope uses his address to call for an openness to both conversion and ecumenism, as this feast is often celebrated alongside Christian denominations.

Without God, without his grace, we do not heal from our sins. His grace is the source of our change.
Conversion—this oft-repeated word is not always easy to understand. Conversion is asked of people. Conversion has a communal, ecclesial dynamic. So, we believe that our ecumenical conversion also progresses to the extent that we recognize ourselves in need of grace, in need of the same mercy: recognizing that we are all dependent on God in everything.

Keeping with tradition, Pope Francis will preside over the celebration of Second Vespers on January 25 at 5:30pm at Rome's Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls.


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