Saint Paul the Apostle

detail of an oil painting of Saint Paul the Apostle, c.1500, artist unknown; the painting is in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Netherlands; the image was swiped from Wikimedia CommonsAlso known as

  • Apostle Paul
  • Apostle to the Gentiles
  • Paul of Tarsus
  • Saul of Tarsus



Jewish Talmudic student. Pharisee. Tent-maker by trade. Saul the Jew hated and persecuted Christians as heretical, even assisting at the stoning of Saint Stephen the Martyr. On his way to Damascus, Syria, to arrest another group of faithful, he was knocked to the ground, struck blind by a heavenly light, and given the message that in persecuting Christians, he was persecuting Christ. The experience had a profound spiritual effect on him, causing his conversion to Christianity. He was baptized, changed his name to Paul to reflect his new persona, and began travelling, preaching and teaching. His letters to the churches he help found form a large percentage of the New Testament. Knew and worked with many of the earliest saints and fathers of the Church. Martyr.


  • c.3 at Tarsus, Cilicia (modern Turkey) as Saul





  • book
  • sword
  • man holding a sword and a book
  • man with three springs of water nearby
  • thin-faced elderly man with a high forehead, receding hairline and long pointed beard
Additional Information


I assure you, brothers, the gospel I proclaimed to you is no mere human invention. I did not receive it from any man, not was I schooled in it. It came by revelation from Jesus Christ. You have heard, I know, the story of my former way of life in Judaism. You know that I went to extremes in persecuting the Church of God, and tried to destroy it. But the time came when he who had set me apart before I was born and called me by his favour chose to reveal his Son to me, that I might spread among the Gentiles the good tidings concerning him. Immediately, without seeking human advisers or even going to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before me, I went off to Arabia; later I returned to Damascus. Three years after that I went up to Jerusalem to get to know Cephas, with whom I stayed fifteen days. I did not meet any other apostles except James, the brother of the Lord. The communities of Christ in Judea had no idea what I looked like; they had only heard that “he who was formerly persecuting us is now preaching the faith he tried to destroy,” and they gave glory to God on my account. – from a letter from Saint Paul the Apostle to the Christians in Galatia

I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of the hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God. Saint Paul in his second letter to Saint Timothy

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Paul the Apostle“. CatholicSaints.Info. 19 January 2022. Web. 21 January 2022. <>