St. Paul is not a mere historical figure, but someone who has a message for us today. Pope Benedict XVI affirmed this at the solemn inauguration of the Pauline Jubilee Year, whihc runs until June 29, 2009.
“We have come together not to reflect on a past history, irrevocably surpassed. Paul wants to speak with us today,” the Holy Father said in his homily. “That is why I wanted to convoke this special ‘Pauline year’: to listen to him and to drink from him, as our teacher, in the faith and truth, in which are rooted the reasons for unity among the disciples of Christ.
“We are gathered, therefore, to question ourselves about the great apostle of the Gentiles. Not only do we ask ourselves, ‘Who was Paul?’ Above all, we ask ourselves ‘Who is Paul?’ ‘What is he saying to me?'”
The Pontiff then proposed three texts from Pauline letters to look at Paul’s “inner physiognomy […] that which is specific about his character.”