Among the Twelve Apostles, Peter became the spokesman, as when he boldly declared: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” In the lists of the Apostles he is always given precedence, and at Pentecost he delivers the first fiery sermon of the infant Church. Although not one of the Twelve, Paul is also called an Apostle. By his own admission he was the Apostle “born abnormally” (1 Cor 15:8), having encountered the resurrected Jesus as he rode to persecute the Christians of Damascus. Paul’s mission field was the vast Gentile territory in the eastern Mediterranean. Both men were martyred in Rome around the year 64. Credit: Magnificat.net; as published by Magnificat, June 29, 2020 The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul or Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul is a liturgical feast in honor of the martyrdom in Rome of the apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul, which is observed on 29 June. Peace be with you! From the Author, My Daily Bread: A Reason2bCatholic blog
Today is the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul
There is one day for the passion of two apostles. But these two also were as one; although they suffered on different days, they were as one. Peter went first, Paul followed. We are celebrating a feast day, consecrated for us by the blood of the apostles. Let us love their faith, their lives, their labours, their sufferings, their confession of faith, their preaching.
St. Augustine (354 – 430), Doctor of the Church, from a Sermon on the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul
A Firm Foundation
You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Peter made his profession of faith in Christ and this faith constitutes the firm foundation of the people of the New Covenant. The Church is not primarily a social structure; she is the community of those who share the same faith as Peter and the Apostles: the community of those who proclaim the one apostolic faith…. The Fathers loved to compare the holy Apostles Peter and Paul to two pillars supporting the Church as a visible construction. According to ancient tradition, the liturgy celebrates them together, commemorating their glorious martyrdom on the same day…. They both sealed with their blood the witness they bore to Christ by their preaching and ecclesial ministry…. Peter and Paul, each with his own personal and ecclesial experience, testify that the Lord never abandoned them, even amid the harshest trials. He was with Peter to deliver him from the hands of his opponents in Jerusalem; he was with Paul in his constant apostolic labors to communicate to him the strength of his grace, to make him a fearless proclaimer of the Gospel for the benefit of the nations….
If the witness of faith and the arduous struggle which the Apostles Peter and Paul had to undertake for the cause of the Gospel are considered in merely human terms, they ended in defeat. In this too they faithfully followed Christ’s example. Indeed, humanly speaking the mission of Christ, who was condemned to death and crucified, ended in defeat. However, both the Apostles, with their gaze fixed on the Paschal Mystery, did not doubt that precisely what to the eyes of the world seemed a defeat, was in fact the beginning of the fulfillment of God’s plan. It was the victory over the forces of evil won first by Christ and then by his disciples through faith. The entire community of believers relies on the firm foundation of the apostolic faith and gives thanks to Christ for the solid rock on which its life and mission are built.
May the Lord, who today gladdens us with the glorious memory of the Apostles Peter and Paul, enable us to listen to their teaching with a docile heart, preserve it with devotion, and transmit it with fidelity, so that the Gospel message may reach to the ends of the earth. Amen!
Saint John Paul II
Credit: From Homily at Holy Mass of the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, June 29, 1997; www.vatican.va. Saint John Paul II († 2005) reigned as pope from 1978 until 2005.
Where Peter is, there is the Church. Where the Church is, there is Jesus Christ. Where Jesus Christ is, there is eternal salvation.
St. Ambrose (340 – 397), Doctor of the Church
Saints Peter and Paul, Pillars of the Universal Church, pray for us.
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family pray for us. Amen.