St. Paul, the diligent Pioneer of the Gentiles, was converted to Damascus from Judaism. After his baptism, St Paul lived for a few days in Damascus and then headed towards Arabia for a year or two to get himself ready for his missionary assignments. After returning to Damascus, he lived there for some time, preaching in the synagogues spreading the message that Jesus Christ, the Son of God. This earned him hatred of the Jews and he had to escape from the city. He fled to Jerusalem to see Peter and show his respect to the head of the Church.
Later he returned to his native place Tarsus, where he started preaching in his own city until called by Barnabus to Antioch. After spending one year, on the event of a famine, both Paul and Barnabus were asked to go with alms to the underprivileged Christian community at Jerusalem. After this mission they came back to Antioch.
Immediately after this task, Paul and Barnabus headed towards their maiden missionary tour, visiting the island of Cypress, Pamphylia, Pisidia, and Lycaonia, and together they kept establishing churches at Pisidian Iconium, Lystra, Antioch, and Derbe.
After the Apostolic Council of Jerusalem, Paul along with Silas, Timothy and Luke, started on his second missionary tour, revisiting the churches earlier established by him in Asia Minor, and then going through Galatia. He also sailed for Europe, and evangelized the Gospel in Thessalonica Beroea, Athens, Philippi, and Corinth. After this he turned back to Antioch via Ephesus and Jerusalem.
On his third missionary travel, Paul again touched the same regions which he visited on the second trip, but also visited Ephesus where he stayed almost three years, which became the center of his missionary activity. He planned for another missionary tour intending to head towards Rome and Spain. Persecutions by the Jews inhibited him from accomplishing his plans. After being imprisoned for two years at Caesarea, he ultimately reached Rome, where he was again imprisoned for another two years.
According to traditional beliefs, after two years St. Paul was released and then he headed towards Spain, later to the East again, and then came back to Rome. After coming to Rome he was arrested for a second time and in the year 67 he was beheaded.
St. Paul’s tireless interest in the churches developed by him has offered us fourteen canonical Epistles. It is, nonetheless, quite obvious that he also wrote other letters which are no longer found. In his Epistles, St. Paul manifests himself to be a profound religious advocate and he has had a formative influence in the dissemination of Christianity. The centuries made more apparent his greatness of spirit and dedication towards Christianity. June 29th is celebrated as St Paul feast day.