The Church celebrates the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul on 25 January. Yet, throughout the ages, countless people from many different cultures were also converted to Jesus, moving from sin to a holy life, from atheism to the Christian Faith. Like Paul, some of these individuals were martyred for their fidelity to Christ. But the “conversion” of Saul is very different and has no comparison among the great conversions that have marked the story of the saints.
Paul himself did not like to use the word “conversion” to describe his experience. He says that throughout his life, from childhood to adulthood, he sought with all his might to love the God of his fathers and to be faithful to him by observing his laws. Even though Saul was not seeking the crucified and risen Christ, the Lord Jesus, he nevertheless unexpectedly met him and that encounter completely changed his way of relating to God, as well as his way of understanding himself and others.