Wednesday’s People: Saints Lydia and Paul

by Melanie on September 20, 2017

in Catholicism, Nonfiction, Saints, Sisterhood of Saints, Spirituality, Wednesday's Woman

Note: I’m currently featuring women saints who had notable relationships with male saints–their sons, husbands, fathers, or colleagues in faith.

The Basics: Lydia, born in the first century in Greece; feast day, August 3; canonized pre-congregation. Merchant. Paul, born about 5 AD in Turkey; died about 67 in Italy; feast day, January 25; canonized pre-congregation. Evangelist.

The Story: Who doesn’t know the story of Paul’s dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus? Lydia’s was much quieter. We learn in Acts 16 that this seller of purple dye or cloth already believed in the Lord, but that when the disciples arrived in Philippi and talked with women near the river, Lydia listened eagerly to Paul, and she and her household were then baptized. Some call her Europe’s first convert. Shortly thereafter, when Paul and Silas were freed from prison, it was to Lydia’s home that they went to meet with other believers.

Of the rest of Lydia’s life, we know little; there seems to be some consensus she was not a slave, and may have been a widow with children.

What We Can Learn from Lydia and Paul: We are called to sow seeds wherever we go. Who knows why Paul chose to speak to the women by the river? But he found fertile ground when it came to Lydia’s soul. May we also not be afraid to speak the Good News.

Wisdom from Lydia: “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my house” (Acts 16:15). Lydia’s words remind us of the importance of Christian charity.

To Learn More About Other Women Saints and Blesseds: Come back next week, or consider buying my book, Sisterhood of Saints: Daily Guidance and Inspiration.

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