Pope Francis on January 25, 2020, ended the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity by leading an ecumenical prayer service at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome.

It was an appropriate place for a service calling for unity among Christians, it being the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. In his homily at the event, the Holy Father cited lessons from Paul, particularly the account of the shipwreck off the coast of Malta when the great saint was being transported as a prisoner.

“Three different groups were on board the ship that brought Saint Paul to Rome as a prisoner,” the Pope recalled. “The most powerful group was made up of soldiers under a centurion. Then there were the sailors, upon whom naturally everyone on board depended during the long voyage. Finally, there were the weakest and most vulnerable: the prisoners.”

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