Biography• St. Paul, the indefatigable Apostle of the Gentiles• He was converted from Judaism on the road to Damascus. He remained in Damascus after his baptism, and preaches the good news.• He then went to Jerusalem to see Peter and pay his homage to the head of the Church.• Later, he went back to Tarsus to evangelize his own province until called by Barnabus to Antioch. After one year, on the occasion of a famine, both Barnabus and Paul were sent with alms to the poor Christian community at Jerusalem. Having fulfilled their mission they returned to Antioch.
Letters• 1 Corinthians: Pauls letters to the Corinthians reveal how difficult it must have been as a small Christian community to live in the midst of an extremely numerous pagan environment.• 2 Corinthians: Paul continues to address the people of Corinth, sometime during the years 55-57, after he was released initially from Rome• Ephesians: Likely written in the years 61-63, from prison, while in Rome,• Philippians: An example of Pauls affection and tenderness for the early Church that he Founded during his second missionary journey in 50 A.D
Letters• Colossians: Written while in captivity in Rome during the years 61-63 A.D., St. Paul is Instructing the Church in Colossae in regards to certain specific errors concerning Christs Supreme nature.• 1 Thessalonians: Acknowledged as the first piece of New Testament literature• 2 Thessalonians: warns the people of Thessalonia against living in idleness and failing to work for ones own living Philemon: The shortest of Pauls letters• 1, 2 Timothy & Titus: The two epistles to Timothy and one to Titus offer the early Church pastoral instructions in regards to organizing and administrating the communities.
Letters• 2 Thessalonians: warns the people of Thessalonia against living in idleness and failing to work for ones own living• Philemon: The shortest of Pauls letters
Journey• After the Ascension of Jesus and has received the Holy Spirit, St. Paul started to spread the Word of God.• In the spreading of the Word of God, he went in three journeys across the known world. The first journey was led by Barnabas, which led St. Paul from Anatolia to Cyprus and to Asia Minor. This is found in Acts 13-14. Luke,• Timothy & Silas, accompanied the second journey. They revisited all the churches that were established in the Asia Minor during the first journey then sailed for Europe.• On the third, he revisited almost all the places from the second journey but at Ephesus, he stayed for 3 years and made it his center of missionary activity.
Journey• 1st missionary journey: Paul and Barnabus made the first missionary journey, visiting the island of Cypress, then Pamphylia, Pisidia, and Lycaonia, all in Asia Minor, and establishing churches at Pisidian Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe.• 2nd missionary journey: After the Apostolic Council of Jerusalem Paul, accompanied by Silas and later also by Timothy and Luke, made his second missionary journey, first revisiting the churches previously established by him in Asia Minor, and then passing through Galatia. He accordingly sailed for Europe, and preached the Gospel in Philippi. Thessalonica, Beroea, Athens, and Corinth. Then he returned to Antioch by way of Ephesus and Jerusalem.
Journey• 3rd missionary journey: Made Ephesus where he nearly remained for three years, the center of his missionary activity. He had another plan to leave Jerusalem for Rome. Jews hindered him from accomplishing his purpose. Sooner, he reached Rome. St. Paul was released from his Roman imprisonment, and then traveled to Spain, later to the East again, and then back to Rome, where he was imprisoned a second time and in the year 67, was beheaded. In his Epistles, St. Paul shows himself to be a profound religious thinker and he has had an enduring formative influence in the development of Christianity. The centuries only make more apparent his greatness of mind and spirit. His feast day is June 29th.
Contributions• St. Paul contributed to the rapid growth of the early Church and he became known as the communities that he had established were ways of sustaining their faith even in his absence.• It was in Antioch, a new Christian community, where the followers of Jesus were first called “Christians”.
Christian communities that ST. Paul visited• He visited the Christian communities in Syria, Cilicia and Lycaonia, then Galatia, Phyrgia and Mysia, Macedonia and Philippi.• In Philippi Saint Paul founded the first Christian community in Europe. In this town him and his companion Silas were beaten and cast into prison from where they miraculously escaped at midnight.• From Philippi he left for Thessalonica where Saint Paul and his followers preached both to the Jews and the Greeks.• Numerous Greeks, Romans and even Jews were then converted to the Christian faith.
Christian communities that ST. Paul visited• The community in Thessalonica was founded on the second missionary journey.• This town was at that time an important port on the shore of the Aegean Sea and was also an important commercial center on the road (Via Egnatia) which connected Rome with the Orient. It had 100,000 inhabitants: Greeks, Romans and Jews who had a synagogue and a well established community.• The city had been reconstructed by Cassander (315 B.C.), the son-in- law of Philip II, the king of Macedonia. The town had its name from Cassander’s wife, the sister of Alexander the Great, whose name was Tessalonica. Thus the settlement changed its name from Thermae to Tessalonica.• Later the city became prosperous and the capital of Macedonia moved here.
Christian communities that ST. Paul visited• From here Paul left for Athens where he converted Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris and even the religious leader of the Jewish community in town.