Thursday, June 29, 2017
THE FEAST OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL
It was on this day 1,953 years ago that Peter and Paul were both Martyred.
The two pillars of the Catholic Church and two of her original bishops.
Peter, the first of the popes, was crucified in the Circus Maximus. Deeming himself unworthy to die in the same manner as Christ, he requested to be crucified upside down. To this day the inverted cross remains one of the symbols of Saint Peter and of his successors on the throne of the papacy. The Egyptian obelisk that stood at the circus Maximus would have been Peter's last sight on earth. Today it stands in the middle of Saint Peter's square, a sign that the Church will outlive every empire.
Paul, Apostle to the World, was beheaded outside the walls of Rome on the very same day after he and Peter were condemned together before the Emperor. Both of their tombs are enshrined in Rome, Paul at Saint Paul's Outside the Walls and Peter at Saint Peter's Basilica, today is a national holiday in Italy and a Holy Day of obligation in some parts of the world. It is a very important day in the liturgical life of the Church.
Peter and Paul, pillars of the Church, pray for us.