The Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul is the day that Christians around the world celebrate the conversion of Saul of Tarsus to St. Paul.
Saul was a very devout Jew who hated Jesus’ followers. He spent all of his energies on finding and arresting the followers of Jesus. As Saul neared a city called Damascus, a light from heaven flashed all around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say, “Saul, why do you persecute me?” At that moment, Jesus revealed himself to Saul and Saul became blind. Saul was led to a home in Damascus where he fasted and prayed for three days. At the same time, Jesus appeared to a Christian named Ananias. Jesus instructed Ananias to go and find a man named Saul. Ananias was scared because he knew that Saul had arrested Christians and yet he obeyed. Ananias went and prayed for Saul and as he did scales fell off of Saul’s eyes and he was able to see. Saul was filled with the Holy Spirit and became a devout follower of Jesus. His name was changed to Paul and he is considered one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age of the church. Paul founded several churches in Asia Minor and Europe and he wrote thirteen of the twenty-seven books in the New Testament.
Christians celebrate the conversion of St. Paul because it marks his transformation from a devout enemy of Christianity to one of its most ardent supporters and missionaries of Jesus. His conversion is seen as a powerful example of the transformative power of an encounter with Jesus.
Additionally, St. Paul's writings have had a profound influence on Christian theology, and his letters make up a significant portion of the New Testament. So Christians celebrate the conversion of St. Paul as a commemoration of one of the most influential figures in Christianity and as a celebration of the transformative power of faith.
Ways to Celebrate
Read the story of St. Paul’s Conversion found in Acts 9:1-22
Add the collect to your daily prayer time -
O GOD, who, through the preaching of the blessed Apostle Saint Paul, hast caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world: Grant, we beseech thee, that we, having his wonderful conversion in remembrance, may shew forth our thankfulness unto thee for the same, by following the holy doctrine which he taught; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Make cookies and let each child have two cookies, one for each eye. Have them hold the cookies in front of their eyes as you read the story of Saul's conversion from the bible. When you get to the part in the story where the scales fall from Saul’s eyes, have them remove the cookies from before their eyes. They will love eating the cookies after you're done with the story! This is a great way to emphasize the sweetness of God's grace in our lives!
Here's one of our favorite cookie recipes:
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
sugar for coating cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugars. Add egg through cinnamon and mix well. Add flour and oats and mix well. Form dough into 2-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Important Last Step! Flatten each ball with the bottom of a small glass that has been buttered and dipped into sugar. Bake for 10-12 minutes.