Monday, April 25, 2016

St. Paul Visits Paphos, Cyprus

St. Kyriaki's Church in the background,
with the ruins of St. Paul's Church in the foreground
Saint Paul was one of the greatest Saints of Christianity. He wrote much of the New Testament, and influenced the Christian Church to an immeasurable degree.

Under the inspiration of God, he gave us such beloved and powerful passages as

I Corinthians 13


Romans 8


1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Yet, he is constantly maligned in modern culture, both by secularists and by some Christians who fail to understand who he really was and what he really taught.

False claims abound that St. Paul was a misogynist, promoted slavery or other such nonsense.  He is wrongly painted as a authoritarian, domineering figure who picked on those weaker than he was for his own power trip.

But, the real actions and life of St. Paul are simply ignored. His works are neglected, and misquoted by those who falsely speak against God and His Church.

A real glimpse into the life of St. Paul can be seen at "St. Paul's Pillar" in Paphos, Cyprus.

Here is the Pillar where St. Paul was tied with ropes and beaten bloody with a lash because of his Love for God. Here is the man - weak in his flesh - who was willing to suffer any amount of pain and hardship for Love of his Savior.

This image of St. Paul being beaten - weak, a prisoner, bloody, in chains - is not the image that those who would malign him portray. Where is the domineering figure who pushes around women and slaves for his own power trip? He didn't exist.

Here is St. Paul, as he described himself in 2 Corinthians 11:

. . . I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? . . .

All this because if his Love for God!

There was no one lowlier in Roman culture than a prisoner! Women were often quite high ranking and powerful. Contrary to our modern concepts, even slaves could hold impressive jobs like Doctor, Teacher, Actor, Banker or Skilled Craftsman .  But, a prisoner on the verge of a death sentence was the lowest of the low. The weakest of the weak. But, God's strength was made perfect in the weakness of St. Paul! 

His weakness - his status as a prisoner and eventually as a Martyr - was the vehicle that God used to spread the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth.

St. Paul's Pillar, where he was tied and beaten with a lash for love of Christ

Archaeological site in the foreground, with Church in the background

The Pillar of St. Paul

Map of the Ruins of St. Paul's Church, Paphos, Cyprus

Another view of St. Paul's Pillar

Mosaic Flooring in the Ruins of St. Paul's Church, Paphos, Cyprus

Ruins of St. Paul's Church, Paphos, Cyprus

St. Kyriaki's Church in the Background with St. Paul's Church Ruins in Foreground

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St. Anna, the Grandmother of Jesus
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St. Lazarus, Whatever Happened To? 
St. Nektarios of Aegina

Virtual Visit to Kykkos Monastery, Cyprus
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  1. Really neat...almost like visiting there, through your photos!


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