Passionate Saint Peter

Peter, as pictured on this 1430s Italian prayer book, was one of the leaders of the disciples. At Pentecost, he spoke passionately to the others, telling them that they had been visited by the Holy Spirit and saying that Jesus had risen from the dead and was the Messiah promised by God.

Catacombs of Priscalla, Rome, Italy PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS

After Pentecost the Christian community started to grow, and Peter began to allow non-Jews to join the church. The Roman authorities did not approve of Christianity however, and many believers were persecuted. When the faith spread to Rome itself, many Christians kept their beliefs secret, even going down into the catacombs (underground tombs) to worship.

Saint Paul

Saul was a Roman citizen and a Jew. He persecuted Christians and was present at the death of Stephen, the first Christian martyr (someone who dies for their faith). While on a journey to Damascus in Syria, Saul was temporarily blinded by a dazzling light, and he heard the voice of God asking him why he was attacking the church.


After his vision on the road to Damascus, Saul converted to Christianity and took the name Paul. He travelled around the Mediterranean, converting people to Christianity and setting up churches. As shown by this map, Paul's journeys took him to Cyprus, Turkey, Macedonia, and Greece.

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