FEAST OF ST. PETER AND ST. PAUL

FEAST OF ST. PETER AND ST. PAUL 

 

St. Peter: Peter’s original name was Simon. Christ Himself gave him the name Cephas or Peter when they first met and later confirmed it. This name change was meant to show both Peter’s rank as leader of the apostles and theoutstanding trait of his character — Peter (in Hebrew Kephas) the Rock.
Like his younger brother Andrew, he was a fisherman and dwelt at Capernaum. Peter’s house often became the scene of miracles, since the Master would stay there whenever He was teaching in that locality. Together with his brothers John and Andrew, Peter belonged to the first of Jesus’ disciples (John 1:40-50).
After the ascension, Peter always took the leading role, exercising the office of chief shepherd that Christ had entrusted to him. He delivered the first sermon on Pentecost and received the first Gentiles into the Church (Cornelius; Acts 10:1).

Paul went to Jerusalem “to see Peter.”
After his miraculous deliverance from prison (Easter, 42 A.D.), Peter “went to a different place,” most probably to Rome.It is certain that Peter labored in Rome as an apostle, that he was the city’s first bishop, and that
he died there as a martyr, bound to a cross (67 A.D.). According to tradition he also was the first bishop of Antioch.
He is the author of two letters, the first Christian encyclicals. His burial place is Christendom’s most famous shrine, an edifice around whose dome are inscribed the words:

Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam

 

St. Paul: Paul, known as Saul (his Roman name) before his conversion, was born at Tarsus in the Roman province of Silicia about two or three years after the advent of the Redeemer. He was the son of Jewish parents who belonged to the tribe of Benjamin, was reared according to the strict religious-nationalistic party of the Pharisees, and enjoyed the high distinction of Roman citizenship.
As a youth he went to Jerusalem to become immersed in the Law and had as a teacher the celebrated Gamaliel. He acquired skill as a tent-maker,a work he
continued even as an apostle. At the time of Jesus’ministry he no longer was at Jerusalem; neither did he see the Lord during His earthly-life.
Upon returning to the Holy City, Paul discovered a flourishing Christian community and at once became its bitter opponent. After receiving baptism and making some initial attempts at preaching, Paul withdrew into the Arabian desert (c. 34-37
A.D.), where he prepared himself for his future mission. Then he went to Jerusalem “to see Peter.” The first major missionary journey (45-48) began upon his return as he and Barnabas brought the Gospel to Cyprus and Asia Minor (Acts 13-14).
In 66 he returned to Rome, was taken prisoner, and beheaded a year later. His fourteen letters are a precious legacy; they afford a deep insight into a great soul.