Saint Paul

Saint Paul was born about the same time as our Lord. He called himself the Apostle to the Gentiles. Paul did not know Jesus in life but was converted by a miraculous event known as the Road to Damascus. Saul the Jew hated and persecuted Christians as heretical, even assisting at the stoning of Saint Stephen the Martyr. On his way to Damascus to arrest another group of them, the most famous conversion in the history of Christianity took place. Saul was knocked to the ground. A heavenly light shone down suddenly from heaven, encompassing Saul. He heard Jesus Christ's voice, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" This man who hated Christ and all Christians capitulated in the front of the living God. Then Jesus told him to go into Damascus, and there he would be told what to do. Paul became blind and did not eat or drink for three days. In Damascus, the Lord sent a disciple called Ananias to him, who restored his vision, filled him with the Holy Spirit and baptized him. After he was baptized, he changed his name to Paul to reflect his new persona, and began travelling and preaching about Jesus in the synagogues in Damascus. The Jews wanted to kill him, but he escaped with the help of some Christians who lowered him in a basket from the top of the city wall. He spread of Christianity, particularly westward from Jerusalem. Many Christians view him as an important interpreter of the teachings of Jesus. The apostle Paul was executed in Rome during the persecution of the emperor and madman, Nero. Nero?s persecution of Christians lasted for four years, from 64 to 68AD. It was also during this persecution that the apostle Peter was executed. As a Roman citizen entitled to a quick death, Paul was beheaded with a sword near Rome, possibly on this day, June 29, 67.