According to St. Augustine, the apostle Paul was one of the pillars of Christianity, he was given to Christianity as a result of the death of the great Christian FirstMartyr Stephen.
Like Stephen, Saul (Paul) was a native of Judea. He grew up in the Diaspora, in the capital city of Tarsus in Cilicia, at the junction of East and West. Here flourished philosophy, sports and trade. Saul's family had hereditary Roman citizenship, which is reminiscent of his second, the Latin name — Paulus (Paul).
However, he was proud of the fact that there was Hellenist, and was "a Jew of the Jews": retained paternal language and traditions of their ancestors. Saul's father, a wealthy tradesman, was regarded as a kind of Jewish aristocrat — he traced their ancestry to the tribe of Benjamin, from which came the king Saul. Himself a Pharisee (scribe), the father of Saul strongly guarded her son from the temptations of a pagan environment and dreamed of theological career of his son. When Saul was grown up, he was sent to Jerusalem to study the Scriptures, where he was trained, and, despite his youth, was respected.
When the killers dealt with the Christian holy Protomartyr Stephen, they laid down their garments at the feet of Saul it. In the execution itself youth did not participate, but wanted to show them his approval and for that volunteered to guard their clothes. Soon Saul went to Damascus for the violence against Christians, but suddenly went blind on the way to this city, and then followed by a wonderful enlightenment, and he became co-religionists of those who until recently was going to drive.
Disciples of Christ first did not believe Saul, suspecting it infiltrator. However, Joseph Barnabas, trustee of the church in Jerusalem came to his aid, and almost forcibly brought to the Apostle Peter. As the apostle Peter, Paul later played a major role in the spread of Christianity.
As the church tradition, the apostle Paul (Apostle Paul) was executed during the persecution of Christians under the Emperor Nero after the fire of Rome in 64 BC. e.