I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being.— Galatians 1:11-16
As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.— Acts 9:3–9
“Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.— Acts 9:13–19
1 The burden of Damascus. Behold Damascus shall cease to be a city, and shall be as a ruinous heap of stones.
2 The cities of Aroer shall be left for flocks, and they shall rest there, and there shall be none to make them afraid.
3 And aid shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus: and the remnant of Syria shall be as the glory of the children of Israel: saith the Lord of hosts.
4 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall grow lean.
5 And it shall be as when one gathereth in the harvest that which remaineth, and his arm shall gather the ears of corn: and it shall be as he that seeketh ears in the vale of Raphaim.
6 And the fruit thereof that shall be left upon it, shall be as one cluster of grapes, and as the shaking of the olive tree, two or three berries in the top of a bough, or four or five upon the top of the tree, saith the Lord the God of Israel.
7 In that day man shall bow down himself to his Maker, and his eyes shall look to the Holy One of Israel.
8 And he shall not look to the altars which his hands made; and he shall not have respect to the things that his fingers wrought, such as groves and temples.
9 In that day his strong cities shall be forsaken, as the ploughs, and the corn that were left before the face of the children of Israel, and thou shalt be desolate.
10 Because thou hast forgotten God thy saviour, and hast not remembered thy strong helper: therefore shalt thou plant good plants, and shalt sow strange seed.
11 In the day of thy planting shall be the wild grape, and in the morning thy seed shall flourish: the harvest is taken away in the day of inheritance, and shall grieve thee much.
12 Woe to the multitude of many people, like the multitude of the roaring sea: and the tumult of crowds, like the noise of many waters.
13 Nations shall make a noise like the noise of waters overflowing, but he shall rebuke him, and he shall flee far off: and he shall be carried away as the dust of the mountains before the wind, and as a whirlwind before a tempest.
14 In the time of the evening, behold there shall be trouble: the morning shall come, and he shall not be: this is the portion of them that have wasted us, and the lot of them that spoiled us.
Isaiah 17 (Douay-Rheims)