What Are Some Facts About Saint Paul the Apostle?

Saint Paul was a Hellenic Jew from the town of Tarsus, Cilicia, which is modern Southeastern Turkey. His parents were Roman citizens, and his Jewish name was Saul. Before becoming an apostle, he persecuted Christians and took part in stoning Stephen, the first Christian martyr. He was a Pharisee and a tent maker. His family lineage strictly observed Pharisaic traditions and observances.

Paul acquired his education in Jerusalem under the leadership of Gamaliel. His conversion from Judaism to Christianity is the most popular; Paul had a vision of Jesus on his way to Damascus. He believed in Jesus and started preaching the gospel after this encounter. Paul never met Jesus during his brief years of ministry but was among the first missionaries to preach the gospel to non-Jewish people.

The Bible reveals very little information about Paul's family, but the New Testament mentions at least seven of his relatives including his sister's son. His first missionary journey was from Antioch to Cyprus and Anatolia before returning to Antioch. His second missionary journey was from Jerusalem on a trip around the Mediterranean Sea, and his third journey was to the regions of Galatia and Phrygia, which took almost three years. The local authorities and Jewish communities constantly harassed him for his beliefs and later arrested him and put him to death.