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Two possible explanations: 1) The sword is "the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God." (Eph. 3:17). 2) More likely (IMHO) though, it is likely meant to mirror the upside down cross of Peter, both representing the means by which each was martyred. Both explanations are cited in the Westminster Cathedral tour of the Chapel of St. Paul ( A third explanation: According to legend he died by the sword. In Legend, Paul is arrested by the Roman emperor Nero and is sentenced to death by the sword, because he was a Roman citizen. Otherwise he would have been crucified.

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15y ago
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11y ago

Below is from the website Symbols of the Saints:

Saint Paul

Saint Paul has the sword assigned to him because he was a persecutor of the Church. The book is a symbol of his conversion into the greatest preacher of the Church. The great change in Saint Paul shows itself in this that he afterward speaks of the Word of God and the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17).

As usual the shield is red; the book is white, the letters are red and the sword is gold.

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13y ago

Saint Paul is known as the "defender of the Faith".

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13y ago

There is no patron saint of swordsmen.

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Q: Why does Saint Paul have a sword in pictures of him?
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