Saint Paul made several journeys in order to let people know about Jesus Christ and increase the number of the Christians all over the world. According to his Book of Acts he travelled in several Mediterranean countries especially along the coast of Asia Minor. He arrived in Ephesus in 52 AD and he baptized twelve followers of John the Baptist. Paul had been teaching for a long time both Greeks and Jews and many of them had believed him. However, there was a great counteraction by the blacksmiths who created statues of Artemis and her temple and sold them to the followers of the goddess. As their business was in danger due to the new religion, they led a group against Saint Paul, declaring that Artemis is their goddess and that they should keep worshipping her. Saint Paul was brought in the Great Theatre of Ephesus where he was judged and found guilty because he did not respect Diana of the Ephesians, so he was imprisoned and as the resistance against Saint Paul’s message concerning Jesus Christ, was very strong, he was forced to leave the city.

Apart from the Great Theatre, there is one more site related to Saint Paul in Ephesus. It is the Grotto of Saint Paul which is located on the north slope of Panayir (Bülbüldag) mountain. It is a cave where one can see Christian frescoes and inscriptions, depicting Saint Paul, Virgin Mary and Thecla (a disciple of Saint Paul).

They date back to the 5th until the 20th centuries AD and they contain invocations to Saint Paul, the God, Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary. Unfortunately, the Grotto of Saint Paul is not open to the public yet.

 

The prison of Saint Paul in Ephesus

Saint Paul prison - Ephesus