This year, which will begin the Year of St. Paul come the summer, as every year, the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity closes on the Feast of the Conversion of the Apostle Paul.
The octave had an ecumenical origin in its now 80-year history. Mr. John L. Allen Jr. was in Rome at the end of the octave, from where he reported
watching an all-star ecumenical cast mark the occasion. Although there's been no historic breakthrough on the path to reunion, collectively the week's events have offered a more hopeful counter-point to perceptions of an ecumenical "big chill."Mr. Allen's 25 January report offers some history of the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity as well correcting the misperceptions that Pope Benedict isn't interested in Christian unity.
Wiki-image of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls is in the public domain.