A Blessed and Holy Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, the Pillars of the Church! – 29 June
These are the ones who, living in the flesh, planted the Church with their blood; they drank the chalice of the Lord and became the friends of God.
O God, who on the Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul give us the noble and joy of this day, grant we pray, that your Church may in all things follow the teaching of those through whom she received the beginnings of right religion.
Veneration of the two great Apostles, Peter and Paul, has its roots in the very foundations of the Church. They are the solid rock on which the Church is built. They are at the origin of her faith and will forever remain her protectors and her guides. To them, Rome owes her true greatness, for it was under God’s providential guidance that they were led to make the capital of the Empire, sanctified by their Martyrdom, the centre of the Christian world whence should radiate the preaching of the Gospel.
St Peter suffered Martyrdom under Nero, in 66 or 67. He was buried on the hill of the Vatican where recent excavations have revealed his tomb on the very site of the Basilica of St Peter’s. St Paul was beheaded in the Via Ostia on the spot where now stands the Basilica bearing his name. Down the centuries, Christian people in their thousands have gone on pilgrimage to the tombs of these Apostles. In the second and third centuries the Roman Church already stood pre-eminent by reason of her apostolicity, the infallible truth of her teaching and her two great figures, Sts Peter and Paul.
A partial indulgence may be gained today by anyone who makes devout use of a religious article blessed by any priest but “if the article of devotion has been blessed by the Sovereign Pontiff or by any Bishop, the faithful, using it, can also gain a plenary indulgence, provided they also make a profession of faith (e.g. the Apostles Creed), as long as the usual conditions are satisfied.”
“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.”