St. Paul (Apostle). After Christ himself, St. Paul is the second most important figure in the history of Christianity. His life is known through the Acts of the Apostles and through his own writings. Although he never knew Jesus, he is nonetheless called an apostle (disciple). St. Paul was born around A.D.10, at Tarsus, in Asia Minor. He was called Saul, after his conversion he changed his name into Paul (Latin paulus means small).
Saul, an enemy to Christians, asked the high priests to authorize him to arrest Christians at Damascus and bring them back to Jerusalem. On his way to Damascus at the head of his armed men Saul fell to the ground when he heard the voice of Christ, saying: 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?' and temporarily lost his sight. And he said, 'Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest... And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise and go into city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man' (Acts 9:5-7). Saul got up from the ground, but could not see, and his men brought him to Damascus. There he stayed in the house of Judas in the Straight Street. To that house the Lord sent a disciple named Ananias to heal Saul. Ananias came to the house, laid his hands on Saul and said, 'Saul, my brother, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me to you so that you may recover your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit' (Acts 9:17). And his sight returned to Saul, and he got baptized.
On his return to Jerusalem Paul found Peter and other disciples and was accepted into the Christian community. He traveled all over the Roman Empire on missionary voyages. At length he arrived in Rome, where he again joined Peter. Emperor Nero, around A.D. 64, martyred them both during the persecutions of Christians. Paul as a Roman citizen was beheaded; Peter was crucified like a slave. Paul is considered to be the founder of the Universal Church since he not only took the Gospel to all corners of the Roman Empire, but also separated Christianity once and for all from Judaism. His cult has always been linked to that of St. Peter and numerous churches are dedicated simultaneously to both saints.
See: Fra Bartolommeo The Annunciation, with Saints Margaret, Mary Magdalene, Paul, John the Baptist, Jerome and Francis.
Botticelli Lamentation over the Dead Christ with the Saints Jerome, Paul and Peter.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder. The Conversion of St. Paul.
Caravaggio The Conversion of St. Paul.
Cima da Conegliano. Madonna and Child Enthroned with St. Peter, St. Romuald, St. Benedict, and St. Paul, Ananias Healing Saul (St. Paul).
Dionysius. The Apostle Paul.
El Greco St. Paul and St. Peter.
Georges de La Tour. St. Paul.
Michelangelo Conversion of Saint Paul.
Nicolas Poussin. The Ecstasy of St. Paul.
Raphael Cartoon for St. Paul Preaching in Athens.
Rembrandt. St. Paul in Prison. The Apostle Paul.
Andrei Rublev. Apostle Paul.
Russian Icon. Apostles Peter and Paul.
Theophanes the Greek. St. Paul.
Francisco de Zurbarán. St. Paul. Detail from St. Lawrence.
The Book of Saints: The Lives of the Saints According to the Liturgical Calendar by George Angelini, Victor Hoagland (Editor). Regina Press, Malhame & Company, 1986.
365 Saints: Your Daily Guide to the Wisdom and Wonder of Their Lives by Woodeene Koenig-Brick (Author). Harper SanFrancisco, 1995.
Twelve Who Followed Jesus by Landrum P. Leavell. Broadman Press, 1975.
The Galilean Dialogues: On the Road With the Master and the Twelve by Joe F. Tarpley. Vantage Press, 1994.
Prophets & Apostles of the Last Dispensation by Lawrence R. Flake. Deseret Books, 2001.
Voices from Ancient Bethlehem: A Dialogue With Jesus and the Twelve Apostles by Scribe. Jodere Group, 2003.
Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur (Author). W Publishing Group, 2002.
The Twelve: The Lives of the Apostles After Calvary by Bernard Ruffin. Our Sunday Visitor, 1998.