Saul, the ardent persecutor of the early Christians, armed with letters to the authorities of Damascus to find, capture, and bring any Christian believers back to Jerusalem for punishment, suddenly is blinded and then converted by a vision of Christ as Lord of Heaven, Who appears to him alive after His Crucifixion. This is a pivotal event in the formation of the early Church. Shortly afterwards, Saul becomes St. Paul, and the world would never be the same through this “Apostle to the Gentiles.”
This icon depicts the whole conversion as explained in the ninth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. On the left we see St. Paul traveling to Damascus when a great light appears in which Christ the Light-Giver is revealed, and St. Paul falls to the ground. On the right is the house of the Holy Apostle Ananias of the Seventy, and the blinded St. Paul is being led by the hand to the door. He will receive healing, instruction, and baptism by St. Ananias. May this most renowned and amazing conversion in history inspire us to fully convert our own minds and hearts to the active service of Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Church.