Another exciting discovery was made in the Vatican Secret Archives. As historians, biblical scholars, and manuscript specialists were cleaning out a broom closet near the stacks, one of the staff knocked over a broomstick setting off a chain reaction that culminated in quite a few items being thrown off a nearby shelf.
The particular shelf in question had not been cleaned or catalogued in some time and when the broomstick fell, a few boxes on the shelf were thrown to the ground. Precious manuscripts were everywhere.
Once the specialists saw the manuscripts, however, their attitudes changed. Previously undiscovered letters of St. Paul were among the manuscripts and have generated the most attention since their discovery.
Having a special contact within the Archives, and with the permission of the Vatican Swiss Guard, I have procured the content of a few of the letters which I share here. Be prepared to see another side of the greatest itinerant preacher Christianity has ever known!
St. Paul’s Letter to the Syrians
Paul, Servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the entire Syrian people. Greetings in the Lord. It has come to my attention that there are some among you who do not think it licit that olives be included on pizza. See that this thought never again crosses your minds. It is the folly of the devil and those openly against Christians to think thusly. I will send my servant Barnabas ahead of me. When I see you again, I expect olives to be on my pizza. We will bless the Lord together for his bounty. The Lord be with your spirit. May grace be with all of you.
St. Paul’s First Letter to the Alexandropolitans
Paul, slave of Jesus Christ, greetings in the Lord. I hear that plans are underway for my birthday. See to it that they continue as planned. I will not be late, as I was last year. I do appreciate the love and the efforts that go into planning a birthday celebration. One word of caution, however. Last year we had the fire episode. Please take all precautions so as not to have something like that happen again. The hair on the top of my head is still not growing back. If the Lord wants it, then so be it. May the love of God be with you always.
St. Paul’s Eleventh Letter to the Athenians
Paul, to the church in Athens. Listen, guys, ten times I have written you before. I do not know if it is the mail system or if you are just ignoring me. I pray that it is the former. Believe me, I’ve written to other churches and they seem not to have received my correspondence either, based on the reports I’ve heard on their behavior (or lack thereof.)
But that is not the point of my letter. Actually, I’ve rather forgotten why I began this letter in the first place. I will write again when I remember. I will still send this one so that you know that I am praying for you and for the upcoming Olympic games. I have heard that the Christian Athenian relay team is second to none this year. Although, the Spartans are rather fierce so I’m told. God be with you all.
St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Iberians
Paul, apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the churches of the Iberian peninsula. Greetings in the Lord! I have heard from James, the brother of the Lord, that the northern reaches of your territory are ideal for long, prayerful walks. I really must take advantage of that the next time I see you. I long to see you not only for your faith in the Lord, but also because of your sweet, sweet sangria. You really must share that recipe with me so that I may share it with the other churches. Truly a gift from God. I will remain in Rome for a time for preparations for my journey to you. Peter sends his greetings to you. “Peter.” Only the Lord could give someone that nickname. Farewell in Christ Jesus!
St. Paul’s Third Letter to Timothy
Timmy, I’ve compiled your hours for the past two weeks. Your totals match what I have exactly. Well done. ‘Tis a work of the Holy Spirit. I will send your check in the next three days. Keep track of your pay stubs. We all know how Caesar likes his taxes. Farewell in the Lord!
St. Paul’s Fifteenth Letter to the Antiochians
Greetings to you in the name of God our Father, Christ the Son, and in the Holy Spirit! It is I, Paul. Not that you need me to name myself. I’ve spent more ink on writing to you than I care to imagine. Whatever it takes, however. I have heard that you have once again forbidden certain practices that are accepted among the other churches. Of course it is right and just for toppings other than olives to be included on pizzas. Perhaps I was too confusing in my last letter to all of Syria concerning this matter. I did not just say that olives were the only licit topping. Other toppings most certainly have a place on pizza. And now, through the grace of Jesus Christ that we have received, we may now include bacon on our pizzas. Praise be to God! If I may implore you to patronize Apollo’s Pizza, do not think less of me. He is wanting to convert. Make him feel he is doing the right thing. Help a potential brother out. I send my salutations to you with a ‘cheesy’ disposition. God be with you until I return.
St. Paul’s Letter to His Clothier
Paul, to Dennis, salutations and blessings to you from the Lord! The last batch of material you sent to me was the best I have ever used. Please procure some more. Not only was it easy to work with, but my customers have returned to tell me that they do not feel the drafts anymore like they used to. Praise Jesus! I have considered naming this model of my tent stock the “Lead us not into tent-ation” model. What do you think? Too negative for what I am aiming for? Anyway, I look forward to hearing from you. Send along my regards to your wife, Penelope. The Lord be with you always.
St. Paul’s Christmas Letter to all the Churches of Asia Minor
Paul, slave to Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas! I’ve had a great year getting to know all of you. We’ve have our ups and downs and there were even some churches that needed a bit of required correction! (Looking at you Galatia). To be serious, I’ve watched some of my closest friends and travel companions truly thrive. Timothy and Titus have both “graduated” and are now heads of their own respective churches. I cannot be more proud of them and how much they’ve grown over the past year. The tent business is still thriving, but I am finding that I can’t devote as much time to it as I used to due to other “higher” things in my life now! Still, if you need a new tent or need any type of tent repair, you know who to contact. I hope that I will be able to see you this upcoming year. Best wishes to everyone and Merry Christmas to you all!!
St. Paul’s Final Letter to the Pompeiians
Paul, apostle of Jesus Christ, greetings in our common Lord! I have heard rumblings of discord among you. It pains me to hear this. It would be a tragedy should something more erupt among you. Do not get buried in your discord! I advise you to undertake some penance in reparation. Remember the ashes you place on your forehead during the beginning of the Lenten season and remember the saying, “You are dust and to dust you shall return.” If you keep these at the forefront of your minds, the discord will cease and you will all return to the love of Christ among you. If you foster it, it will grow into a fire within you, and overflow like magma from a volcano. The fire of the love of Christ has no equal among men. Be attentive to the signs and should the need arise, remove yourselves from a less than ideal situation. Know my prayers go with you. God’s blessing be upon you all. Farewell in Christ our Lord!