Church Persecuted for January 23- This Tuesday, January 25th, the Church celebrates the conversion of St. Paul. Saul, as he was known then, was an early persecutor of the Church and directed the early persecution of followers of Jesus. He was present at the stoning of St. Stephen, the first martyr (Acts 8:1-3). Times were tough back then. Christians were hiding in the catacombs as Roman emperors persecuted them one after another. Why? Because they were one of the fastest growing religions and they refused to worship the Roman gods. 

Imagine Ananias, who was told that Saul was coming to him and that he would be asked to help him (Acts 9:10-13). Granted Ananias received this instruction though a vision; but nonetheless, it was a humbling task to instruct Saul, now Paul, no longer the persecutor of Christians. Paul was converted because of the kindness and persistence of Ananias and others. Paul, who would become the public face of the Church to the Gentiles (non-Jews), began preaching, baptizing, and converting others. His actions led to growth in the Church at a time when Rome was persecuting Christians throughout his travels; he was imprisoned, shipwrecked, tortured, and finally martyred. 

In his book, Under Siege, No Finer Time to be a Faithful Catholic, Austin Ruse offers three steps for today’s Catholics facing persecution: “quiet and privately,” “flying the flag,” and “charging the sniper’s nest.” More on this next week.

Section I. Father De Celles: Religious Liberty

Section II. Special Column

Section III. Chronology of Attacks on Catholic Church Facilities and Statues


Section IV. Previous Church Persecuted Columns and Various Religious Liberty Articles