October 20, 2010 // Uncategorized

St. Paul converts many to Christianity in Beroea

Where is Beroea where St. Paul caused a commotion?
As soon as it was night, St. Paul and Silas left Thessalonica where a disturbance had taken place and went to Beroea (modern Veria) in west-central Macedonia. O. Meinardus says that on this journey, Paul and Silas probably passed through the Arch of Augustus and the Western Gate and traveled along the famous Ignatian Way. Beroea is about 50 miles from Thessalonica. Beroea is situated on the eastern slope of Mount Vermion with a beautiful view of the plain irrigated by two rivers: The Haliacmon and the Axius. The city lies near the left bank of the river Haliacmon. In 168 B.C. when the Romans defeated Macedonia, they made Beroea one of the four republics of the kingdom. M. Grant says Beroea enjoyed prosperity as the seat of the Council of Macedonia and issued its own coins from A.D. 44 onward. Games were held at Beroea with gold medallions as the prizes. Besides Macedonians, Romans and Jews also lived in the city. Eventually Beroea became the seat of a bishopric. A large early Christian basilica has now been uncovered.

In Beroea Paul and Silas preached in the Jewish synagogue in A.D. 54. Many Jews welcomed Paul’s message enthusiastically and became Christian. Also many influential Greek women and men liked St. Paul and became Christian. But when the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the Gospel in Beroea, they rushed there to cause a commotion. St. Paul then left with an escort for Athens in Greece. Silas and Timothy, however, stayed in Beroea to strengthen the new converts and to organize the church there.

O. Meinardus describes the impressive monument that commemorates St. Paul’s preaching at Beroea. It is a beautiful white marble structure enshrining a mosaic of St. Paul. According to local tradition, the steps of the monument are those from which St. Paul delivered his sermons.

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