Posted by Alex on Tuesday, July 8th, 2008
Published by Alex
DAMASCUS (AFP) Predominantly Muslim Syria has launched a celebration to mark 2,000 years since the birth of Saint Paul, who converted to Christianity on the road to Damascus and helped spread the new religion to the non-Jewish world.
A mass was attended by both Christians and Muslims in the capital of officially secular Syria, with other events being organised over the next 12 months with the help of the tourism ministry.
The following nineteenth-century original photos are all part of the private collection of Middle East historical photos available at www.mideastimage.com
Photograph of St. Paul's gate in the wall of the city of Tarsus in Cilicia in northern syria, now in southern Turkey, the birth place of Saul of Tarsus [Sa'ul Hatarsi], 5 A.D.- 67 A.D.; a Hellenized Jew, who's conversion on the Road to Damascus was to change the course of history, and introduce a Semitic faith to the non-Semitic world of the Gentiles, through his missionary travels to the world beyond the Aramaic and Hebrew speaking east " The Apostle to the Gentiles".
Photograph of St Paul's House and St Paul's well to the left taken by
travelling missionary in 1898, in the city of Tarsus in Cilicia.
Photo (Bonfils, 1872) of Bab Kaysan, one of the Gates of Damascus leading to the Christian quarter, but next to the Jewish quarter, where St. Paul is believed to havemade his escape, in a basket, on his second visit to Damascus, after returning from his mission to the Arab Nabateans after his conversion on the way to Damascus. The Gate has not been in use since the 16th. century occupation of Damascus by the Ottomans.
The underground chapel, at Ananias house where Paul remained after his vision was restored by Ananias at the house of Judas in Damascus. He was baptized by Ananias. The Church and the house are located in the Christian quarter of east Damascus. Photograph by Suleiman Hakim 1890. (See it today)
Post card of the Chapel of St. Paul during its construction at Bab Kaysan in 1939. (See it today)
Photograph, by Bonfils 1870, of Christian men and women of Damascus visiting Kawkab, 18 Km. south-west of Damascus, at the spot on the road between Jerusalem and Damascus where it is believed Saul of Tarsus is thought to have been hit by a bolt of Lightning and blinded.