missionary of Jewish descent; known as Paul the Apostle, or Saul of Tarsus, or the Apostle of the Gentiles. He first opposed the followers of Jesus, assisting at the martyrdom of St Stephen, but while travelling to Damascus he experienced a vision (and was temporarily struck blind), after which he was converted to Christianity; he became one of the first major Christian missionaries and theologians, and his epistles form part of the New Testament.
After a number of missionary journeys, Paul was arrested in Jerusalem for preaching against the Jewish Law; as a Roman citizen, he appealed to Caesar, and was sent for trial to Rome. He was martyred there during the persecution of Nero, traditionally on the same day as St Peter (see Peter1).
Paul's experience on the road to Damascus has become proverbial as a life-changing revelation.
Paul's emblem is the sword with which he is said to have been executed. His feast day is 29 June; the feast of the Conversion of St Paul is 16 January.
if Saint Paul's day be fair and clear, it will betide a happy year traditional weather rhyme, late 16th century (but recorded in Latin from the mid 14th century); the day in question is 25 January, traditionally the day on which the feast of the Conversion of St Paul is celebrated.
Subjects: Biblical Studies.