Saint Paul

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St. Paul defends his preaching (Giovanni Ricco)

Saint Paul (Hebrew:שאול Shaul "asked [of God]") Apostle of the Gentiles, also known as Saul of Tarsus. Never having seen or met Jesus himself in the flesh, he was suddenly visited by Jesus while on his way to persecute his followers at Damascus. Paul saw a blinding white light and fell to the ground as Jesus talked to him asking Saul why he was persecuting him, then telling him to go into the city where he would be told what to do. Paul got up, but when he opened his eyes, he found he was blind. Being led by the hand into the city by the men who were with him, for 3 days Paul could not see and would not eat or drink. But a stranger named Ananias came to see him, a follower of Christ, having been led by God in a vision to where Paul was staying. Placing his hands upon Paul as God told him to do, Paul was cured after something like scales fell from his eyes. Paul became baptized that very day. (Acts 9:1-19). This incident is called the Road to Damascus experience.

He later claimed to have been "a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless." (Philippians 3:5b-6) As such, he originally hated the Christians and took a lead in persecuting them: specifically, he was "in hearty agreement" with the stoning of saint Stephanus (Stephen). After conversion he undertook a series of missionary journeys to the gentiles. These were dedicated mainly to spreading his own particular version of Jesus' message - one that freed gentiles from the necessity of observing the Jewish Law, reportedly much to the scandal of the official Church at Jerusalem.

Feastday: June 29.

Apostle of the Gentiles

Because the liberating effects of his message caused much unintended immorality and uncertainty among his gentile converts, many of whom promptly gave up their jobs and other commitments in expectation of the imminent End of the World, Paul wrote many letters to his various 'churches' on a wide variety of subjects, including the essential kerygma or preaching thrust of what was to become Christianity. He was also a proponent of the idea of agape, or universal, unconditional compassion, as referred to at 1 Corinthians 13:1-13. Thirteen of these letters were subsequently incorporated into the New Testament: Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon.

St. Paul reminded the Christians how they should live. They should think about the things in heaven (Colossians 3:2), because they belong with Christ (Colossians 3:3-4). They should not do evil deeds (Colossians 3:5-11). Instead, they should love other people (Colossians 3:12-14). And they should serve God (Colossians 3:15-17). If we invite Jesus into our lives, we will become friends of God (Colossians 1:15-23).

Last years

St. Peter and St. Paul

During the last years he intended to visit Spain (Romans 15:24), Lycus, Laodicea, Collusus and Hierapolis. He also went to Crete, Ephesus and Macedonia.

Saint Paul was arrested (Acts 21:27- 28:31); he was accused of bringing Gentiles into the temple. Paul appealed to Caesar (his right as a citizen) and he was sent to Rome for a Roman trial. The Biblical account leaves off before the trial takes place. St. Paul was brought to Rome, but Nero was the Emperor and after the Rome fire where he blamed the Christians to deflect attention from himself, he was an ardent persecutor of the Christians, killing many. St. Paul was martyred near Rome at the Aquae Silviae. St. Dionysios the Corinthian says that St. Paul and St. Peter were martyred at “about the same time.” It is believed that St. Paul died aged 68 having served the Lord for some 35 years. [1]

St. Paul was a profound religious thinker; he has had an important formative influence in the development of Christianity.

See also

External links


  1. St. Paul


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