Apostles to the Gentiles
St. Paul, earlier known as Saul of Tarsus, was a Jewish tentmaker and a Roman citizen. Saul not only hated but persecuted Christians and tried to destroy the early church. While traveling to Damascus on the way to persecute another group of Christians, he was knocked down, struck blind, and met a vision of the resurrected Jesus who appeared to him in a great heavenly light. The message he received was that in persecuting Christians, he was persecuting Christ. This had a profound effect on him. After he regained his sight three days later, he converted to Christianity, was baptized, changed his name to Paul, and traveled throughout the land preaching the Gospel of Christ. Paul helped establish many churches, and the letters he wrote to his churches formed a large portion of the New Testament. He had the special charge of being the apostle to the Gentiles. He was martyred in the year 65 in Rome, Italy.
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