St-Paul-Turkey

St Paul – The Ultimate Missionary

Saint Paul was born in Tarsus (near Mersin, in modern day Turkey) and became one of the most important and influential of all the saints, influencing the growth and development of the Church since the first century.

Church of St Paul in Tarsus
Church of St Paul in Tarsus

Paul set out on his missionary journeys to carry the message of Jesus Christ through Syria, Turkey & Greece. One can trace his path through Acts and visit the locations of the 7 Churches of Revelations that are found in the Aegean area of Turkey. Visiting these sites gives one the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Paul, Timothy, Barnabas, Luke, John & other visionaries.

1st journey of St Paul (Acts 13-14)

The leaders of the church at Syrian Antioch-on-Orontes (now Antakya in Turkey), sent Paul and Barnabas on their first journey. Together they sailed from Selucia Pieria to Cyprus (Salamis, Paphos), where they preached the gospel to the Roman Proconsul & Paul’s miracle converted the Proconsul to the new faith. They then traveled to Perge (an ancient port, now an archaeological site found in the region of Antalya) and from there to Psidian Antioch (Yalvac) where Paul preached the gospel in a Jewish Synagogue and made many converts. As a result they where expelled and moved to Iconium (Konya). In Derbe, nearby Lystra, Paul healed a crippled man after which the people of the city began to believe they were gods and give offerings. Paul refused these offerings resulting in offence, the locals became angry and stoned them. Paul & Barnabas escaped back to Perge and from there returned by sea to Antioch-on-Orontes.

2nd journey of St Paul (Acts 15:26 – 18:22)

Paul traveled, in the company of Silas, from Antioch-on-Orontes to Cilicia, Lystra & Derbe, Phrygia & Galatia, then to Bithynia and west to Mysia & Alexanria Troas to see how the young churches where coming along & to inform the new converts of decisions made by the Council of the Apostles in Jerusalem. In Troas he experienced a vision telling him to go to Macadonia, across the Dardanelles. From there Paul sailed with Luke to Samothrace and continued to Neapolis, Phillipi, Amphipolis, Apollonia, Thessaloniki, Beroea, Athens, Corinth, Cenchreae. On the return to Orontes he passed through Ephesus (now one of the most popular archaeological sites to visit in Turkey), Ceaserea Maritima & Jerusalem.

map-footsteps-paul

3rd journey of St Paul (Acts 18:23-21:15 & Acts 20:24)

Paul headed out again travelling through Galatia & Phrigia to Ephesus to fulfill an earlier promise. His ministry in Ephesus was marked by extraordinary success and he wrote his first letter to the Corinthian Church. From this base, the gospel spread throughout Asia Minor. Then due to a riot against him, started by the head of the silversmiths, Paul left Ephesus and sailed to Macedonia (Greece). Three months later, as he made his way to Jerusalem, he stopped in Alexandria Troas, Assos, Mitilene, Samos, Miletus, Kos, Rhodes, Patara, Tyre. In Miletus he met with the church elders and in his farewell address he revealed that he was compelled by the spirit to return to Jerusalem in the face of danger. “If only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me”.


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Religious Tours in Turkey ; Tour the 7 Churches of Revelations
Roundtrip from Istanbul or Izmir; visit the churches of Smyra, Sardes, Thyatira, Pergamum, Philadelphi, Laodicea & Ephesus, along with the House of Virgin Mary & Basilica of St John


Return to Rome

In Jerusalem he faced accusation of bringing Gentiles into the inner courts of the Temple. His life was saved by Roman soldiers who put him under custody. He went through a few trials and eventually was forced to exercise his rights as a Roman citizen by appealing his case to Caesar. To go to Rome he took the boat from Sidon, passed through Cyprus Cnidus and then turned west to Crete. He was shipwrecked in Malta and the entire crew was saved by the miraculous intervention of Paul.

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