Paul was born in Tarsus 5 A.D. as the son of a wealthy Pharisee. From his father he inherits Roman citizenship and goes to Jerusalem for his theological education.
Gamaliel, a fanatical persecutor of Christians who in 35/36 has Stephen, arch martyr and archdeacon, stoned, becomes his teacher. During the stoning Saul guarded the clothes of the stoners so that they would not be defiled.
When Saul, with the order to persecute Christians, comes close to Damascus, the resurrected Christ appears to him. The apparition is so overwhelming that Saul falls from his horse and goes blind. In a daydream Ananias is given the order to search for “Saul of Tarsus”. He heals Saul and baptises him in the name of Paul (Greek for Saul).
Saint Paul in Santa Maria in Traspontina (Rome)
Saint Paul in San Giovanni in Laterano (Rome)
After a sermon of Paul in the synagogue, he is persecuted and has to flee the city in 38 and retreat to Arabia. Three years later he preaches the gospel in Tarsus and Antioch and does missionary work in non-Jewish regions.
In 52 Peter and Paul discuss the equality of jewish and pagan Christians.
Paul also advocated the conversion of the pagans, while Jacob did not want to neglect the Jewish roots of Christianity. Paul’s commitment ensured that the spatial boundaries of Christianity disappeared and missionary work could spread to pagan areas.
Other significant deeds:
In Philipi, Paul baptizes St. Lydia of Philippi, making her the first Christian in Europe
In Paphos, the wizard Elymas goes blind
In Lystra, Paul is seen as an apparition of Zeus after he healed a paralyzed person.
In Iconium, during a speech, he converts the holy arch-martyr Thekla and baptises her.
In Eutychos, he revives a boy who has fallen to his death.
In Athens, Paul preaches on the Areopagus in front of the altar of the unknown God.
He is imprisoned in Caesarea for three years and finally, thanks to his Roman citizenship, he is called to Rome, where among other things he meets Peter and with him brings about the fall of Simon Magus before Emperor Nero.
Finally, Paul was beheaded in 64 (1st Letter of Clemens). Where his head touched the ground, springs sprang up. Today the church San Paolo alle Tre Fontane is located on this spot. When Plantilia got back the veil that she gave to Paul so that he could blindfold himself, she saw in a vision how Peter and Paul entered Rome victoriously.
Paul is then buried in the catacombs of San Sebastiano. In the 4th century his remains are transferred to another tomb, above which stands the present great papal basilica of San Paolo fuori le mura.
He is the patron saint of Rome, Malta, theologians, pastors and weavers. He is called upon against fear, ear problems, cramps, lightning, hail and snake bites.