The Reading of the Scriptures by Fr Felix, O.F.M.Cap. part 9.
ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.
St. Luke, the evangelist, "the most dear physician" (Colossians 4, 14), tells us the history of the early Church in this eminently beautiful book of the Acts, and in his simple and distinctive style. It is intended to be a sequel to the narrative of the third Gospel. Beginning from Our Lord's Ascension into Heaven, it describes (chapters 1-12) the Descent of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost; the first preaching of the Apostles; the piety and fervour of the first Christians and the waywardness of some few; the ordination of the first deacons; St. Stephen, the first of the Christian martyrs; the conversion of St. Paul the Apostle; the vocation of the gentiles; the persecution of the Church by Herod Agrippa, grandson of Herod who had caused the Holy Innocents to be massacred (Matthew 2, 16). From this point onward (chapters 13-28), the narrative centres entirely around St. Paul. It tells of his three great missionary journeys; his introducing the Gospel into Europe; the persecutions he suffered; his arrest, trial, imprisonment, and the shipwreck at Malta; his arrival in Rome, "a prisoner of Christ Jesus" (Philemon 1), in 61 A.D.