NINE OF THE LETTERS attributed to St.
Paul were sent to large groups of people:
the Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians,
Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians.
They are filled with advice, instruction,
and spiritual insights for these communities. The remaining
four letters, however, were addressed to specific
people: Timothy, Titus, and Philemon.
Written later in Paul’s life, they are shorter and a bit
more private. Though these letters were perhaps
intended to be read by only a few people, they are now
quite public because they were copied and shared
with other followers of Jesus. For almost 20 centuries,
Christians have recognized them as inspired, as words
that feed us as much now as they did these firstcentury
Christians. The feast of Sts. Timothy and Titus
(January 26) uses these letters.
Once a Christian-hater who became a phenomenal
Christian leader, Paul, through his letters, guided and
strengthened an unfolding Church, helping believers
keep their new faith growing, alive, and true. Did
Paul realize that these letters would be read for centuries
by Christians all over the world? Almost 2,000
years later, they are still full of rich help to countless
Christians who strive to nurture their faith. (Unless
otherwise noted, all translations are from the New