BENEDICT XVI: "DO NOT SEPARATE THE SOCIAL IDEA OF CHARITY FROM THE BRAVE ANNOUNCEMENT OF FAITH" (2)

” “After the martyrdom of Saint Stephen, "the persecution of the Christians becomes a mission", recalled Benedict XVI, and "the Gospel arrives as far as Antioch, where for the first time it was announced to the heathen and the name of Christians resounded". Hence, according to the Pope, the connection between the figure of Saint Stephen and the figure of Saint Paul, who is likely to have also been one of the hearers of the speech of Antioch. "Paul, the one that from a persecutor turned into an illustrious apostle of the Gospel – these are the Pontiff’s words –, after the meeting with Stephen resumes his Christological reading of the New Testament, goes into the details of it and completes it, and thus becomes the apostle of the people", thereby proving that "faith and communion with Christ are the real accomplishment of all the law". Through Paul’s preaching, concluded the Pope, "Abraham’s God becomes everyone’s God", and "in Saint Paul’s mission, Saint Stephen’s mission is accomplished".” “

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