Saint Paul (c. AD 5 – c. AD 67) was born into a well-to-do Jewish family of Tarsus who were Roman citizens. At an early age, he was sent to Jerusalem to be trained in the famous rabbinical school headed by Gamaliel. Here, in addition to studying the Law and the Prophets, he learned the trade of tent-making. Saint Paul, as a zealous Jew, initially persecuted Christians. However, when on a journey to Damascus to arrest Christians, he had a dramatic encounter with the resurrected Christ. He was blinded by a flash of light and heard Our Lord say: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”. This event brought upon him an immediate and profound conversion. Still blind from the flash of light, he fasted and prayed for three days. At the end of this period, Ananias of Damascus, a Christian sent to him by Our Lord, laid hands on him restoring his sight. He was then baptised, changed his name from Saul to Paul and spent the rest of his days preaching the word of God. He undertook this task despite severe persecution from the Jews, having been flogged several times and even stoned for his zeal. Thirteen of Saint Paul’s letters are included in the New Testament.
Saint Paul was martyred in Rome by decapitation. His severed head rebounded three times, giving rise to a spring of water each time that it touched the ground.