When the Roman Freedmen put St. Stephen to death, the whole of the conservative Jewish community approved of his slaughter; and King Herod, on seeing that, sought to gain favor with those conservative Jews by putting to death other followers of Jesus.
At that, many of those followers of Jesus fled ninety miles north, settling in Antioch; and it was there that hey came to be known as Christians. They came upon Gentiles with a great curiosity about Jesus. There were people from North Africa, and from the island of Cyprus.
The Apostles in Jerusalem, on hearing about those Gentiles wanting to know Christ, chose a good man to welcome them into our church. That man, originally known as Joseph, was going by the name of Barnabas, which means a man of kindness and understanding.
Barnabas, on being assigned this mission, saw he would need excellent assistance, and for that, he travelled to the southeast Turkish town of Tarsus to enlist the help of Saul, who was coming to be known as Paul, which was more a Roman name than Saul.
Paul In his Letter to the Galatians, said something that amazed most of us. He said that fourteen years had elapsed since his conversion. Saul, in those years, while helping his father at tent making, spent his evenings in contemplation that gradually opened the mysteries of faith to him.