Paul is one of the best known figures of the New Testament. He wrote several of the epistles as Thessalonians, Corinthians and Romans. Paul attempted to relate and summarize the Christian Gospel to a people who were largely pagans or gentiles.
The Apostle was born in Tarsus and named Saul. His parents were Jewish, but also Roman citizens. Paul was an excellent student of the Torah and a fierce opponent of the Christian Church. One day as he was on the road to Damascus to destroy a church there, he was struck by a fierce light from Heaven which blinded him for three days. At the same time a voice from above said to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” The voice was the one of Jesus and the encounter changed the life of Saul/Paul dramatically. He took on a new name and became one of the fiercest advocates of the Christian Faith.
Paul undertook three great missionary journeys throughout Asia Minor and Greece. Eventually he was arrested in Palestine, and as a Roman citizen, Paul appealed for a hearing before the emperor in Rome. We don’t know what happened to him there. He was probably killed in the capital city. Others tell us that he went on to Spain.
In art, Paul is identified by the sword. There are two interpretations in regards to that weapon. The first relates to the sword with which he was beheaded or, the sword is the powerfully proclaimed word.