St Paul, also called Paul the Apostle or Paul of Tarsus was one of the most notable of early Christian missionaries. He was born in Tarsus, in modern day Eastern Turkey, where he was a tent maker, an avid student under one of the top Jewish teachers in Jerusalem and was also a Roman citizen. Initially known as Saul, he persecuted Christians, even taking part in the stoning of St Stephen, the first Christian martyr. In accordance to the Acts of the Apostles, his conversion from Judaism to Christianity took place on the road to Damascus, where he experienced a vision of the resurrected Jesus after which he was temporarily blinded.

Following his stay in Damascus after his conversion, he was cured and baptised by Ananias of Damascus. Unlike Jesus’ apostles in Jerusalem, St Paul had not known Jesus in person. He asserted that he received the gospel not from man, but through the revelation of Jesus Christ. A tireless missionary and an elegent writer, he led a dangerous and adventurous life on behalf of Jesus. He travelled tens of thousands of miles around the Mediterranean spreading the word of Jesus. In addition, it was St Paul that would turn Christianity from a small sect of Judaism into a worldwide faith that was open to all.

St Paul is undoubtedly one of the most important figures in the history of the Western world. His works are some of the earliest Christian documents that exist, with 13 out of the 27 books of the Bible written by him. He was a great Christian theologian, who established some of the building blocks of the faith in Christianity. The feast of St Peter and St Paul, June 29th, is one of the principal days of the Catholic Church calendar; the conversion of St Paul is commemorated on January 25th.