We read in 1Cor 15:7-9, how St. Paul appraises himself with reference to Jesus' post-resurrection appearance to him:
Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
One wonders as to why Paul compares himself to an untimely born child, in that he would prove himself to be no lesser in zeal and energy vis-a-vis the other Apostles in spreading the Good News. Is his statement based on some traditions of the Jews in relation to treating of an untimely born babe? Does the metaphor have larger connotations? My question therefore is: What according to the Catholic Church, are the basis and larger connotations of the term “untimely born” as St Paul refers to himself in 1st Corinthians?