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Saint Paul of Tarsus

Birth and youth

Saint Paul, originally known as Saul of Tarsus, is one of the most influential figures in Christianity. Born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, he had Roman citizenship and was already known before his conversion: he was a rigorous Pharisee and was known for his zeal in the persecution of the first Christians. After years spent fighting Christians, Paul receives the call of the Lord and radically changes the mission of his life. He never met Jesus in person and, after receiving baptism, changed his name to Paul.

Conversion and death

After his conversion, Paul dedicated his life to preaching the Gospel. In the religious community he is in fact recognized as the apostle of the Gentiles, the main missionary of the Gospel of Jesus among the pagan Greeks and Romans. He made several missionary journeys that took him to much of the Roman Empire, including Asia Minor, Greece, and Rome. He was a prolific writer of letters (epistles) containing key theological teachings, and during his mission he faced much persecution, including arrests and floggings.

According to Christian tradition, the martyrdom occurred under the emperor Nero, he was arrested in Rome and beheaded, a form of execution reserved for Roman citizens. The solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul is a liturgical celebration in honor of the martyrdom of the two apostles in Rome and is observed on 29 June.


Saint Paul is often depicted as a middle-aged man, with a dark, bushy beard. His appearance generally conveys wisdom and authority. He sometimes appears bald or with a broad forehead, suggesting his intense intellectual and spiritual activity.

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