Life of St. Paul the Apostle
Named Saul at his birth in the city of Tarsus, the holy apostle was a son of the tribe of Benjamin. Saul became a Pharisee under Gamaliel, one of the chief Jewish Rabbis (Masters/Teachers) of the day. After his study under the great Rabbi, Saul became one of the chief persecutors of Christians. Present at the stoning of St Stephen (Acts 7: 58), Saul later found himself blinded by Jesus Himself on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-22). Sought out by the Apostle Ananias, Saul immediately repented and Ananias baptized him. Saul, soon after his conversion called Paul, was later named and numbered among the Apostles. The extent of Paul's preaching as he spread the Gospel went far and wide from Arabia to Spain, to both Jews and Gentiles. He was called the "Apostle to the Gentiles." Paul spent his new life in suffering and labor for Christ, establishing and organizing churches everywhere. He reached such a state of perfection that he was able to say to the Church at Galatia: "not I, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20). Like the Apostle Barnabas, Paul studied under Gamaliel.
The account of Paul's missionary journeys and the letters he wrote to the Churches he founded formed an important part of the New Testament. St. Paul was martyred with the Apostle Peter under Nero by beheading.