" I was a blasphemer and a persecutor and contemptuous. But I have been treated mercifully, because while I lacked faith I acted in ignorance. But the grace of our Lord filled me with faith and with the love that is in Christ Jesus."
St. Paul never lost sight of his role as a persecutor, but instead of becoming saddened by it, he marveled all the more at the grace and mercy of God.
Conversion, as St. Paul experienced it and expressed it in Galatians 2, meant dying to something that was "holy and just and good" (Romans 7:12), to make room for what was infinitely holier: the "surpassing wealth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord" (Philippians 3:8).