When I first entered the Daughters of Saint Paul, I didn’t really like Saint Paul. I entered despite the community’s name and patron, not because of them. I was attracted by the mission, not really understanding its connection to St. Paul. After a year, I started seriously doubting my vocation because I felt so unworthy. I knew a lot more about Saint Paul, the great apostle and lover of Christ, but he was too remote and unapproachable.

I confided my doubts to my formator who encouraged me to read the letters of St. Paul. “You need to really read them!” she exclaimed. “St. Paul was a great apostle, but he, too, struggled with doubts of being unworthy. He even calls himself, ‘the least of the apostles.’ But St. Paul found the answer to his unworthiness in Jesus. That is your answer to your doubts!”

So I started really reading St. Paul’s letters and found that Sister was right. Saint Paul struggled all his life with his weaknesses, fears, and doubts, but they didn’t stop him from proclaiming Jesus to the ends of the earth. His immense trust in Jesus enabled him to overcome and/or disregard them.

Saint Paul became my favorite saint. Today I rejoice that the name I received at my religious profession—Paul—constantly reminds me to both trust completely in Christ’s saving love and share in the fire of his zeal to share Jesus with others.

Sr. Marie Paul Curley, FSP


Why Paul? Of all the saints in the Church under whose patronage Blessed James Alberione could have placed our Congregation, why did he choose Paul, whose life and letters form such a large part of the New Testament? The answer to that question paints the horizon of our spirituality, of our mission, of our living together as community, indeed, of every aspect of our consecrated life.

Paul—you lived your experience of faith, and you shared it with others through preaching and writing…

Paul—you labored intensely for the Gospel so that all would hear the name of Jesus—who had shown his love for you in a particularly powerful way—and you lived deeply an apostolic mysticism to the point that you could say, “It is no longer I who live, it is Christ who lives in me!” (Gal 2:20)…

Paul—you preached Christ through voice and letter, as well as through your very life, and thus are the model of the spoken, written, and lived “preaching” of the Daughter of St. Paul who announces the Gospel with your same passion and commitment….

During the earliest days of our Congregation in Susa, Italy, the people became aware of the strong bond between our first sisters and St. Paul, whom they trusted for everything and took as the model for their lives and work. It was the people of Susa who first named us “Daughters of St. Paul.”