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Wednesday 29 May |
Saint of the Day: Pope St. Paul VI
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And today we celebrate...Saint of the Day

The Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul

Apostles and Pillars of the Church

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Apostles (First Century)

Their story

+ Simon, who was later given the name “Peter,” was a fisherman from Galilee.

+ Peter often acted as the spokesman of the Twelve and is especially remembered for his great statement of faith: “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.” To this, Jesus responded that Peter was the “Rock” upon which Jesus would build the Church (cf. Matthew 16:17-19).

+ After the Resurrection of Jesus, Peter’s triple denial of Jesus is forgiven when Peter testifies to his love of Jesus three times (cf. John 21:15-17).

+ Following Pentecost, Peter was a leader of the Christian community in Jerusalem and eventually made his way to Antioch where, according to tradition, he served as bishop. Peter eventually made his way to Rome and was executed there around the year 64.

+ Saul of Tarsus was a faithful Jew who took part in the early persecution of the Church in Jerusalem. Following a spiritual encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus, Saul, now called Paul, became a missionary in largely non-Jewish regions. Assisted by Barnabas, Silas, Luke, Timothy, and others, Paul’s missionary journeys took him throughout the Middle East and into Asia and Europe.

+ Paul and Peter took part in the “Council of Jerusalem” which settled questions about receiving non-Jewish believers into the Church.

+ According to ancient tradition, Paul was beheaded in Rome around the year 64.

For prayer and reflection

Two great Apostles of the Gospel and two pillars of the Church: Peter and Paul. Today we celebrate their memory… At the heart of their story is not their own gifts and abilities; at the center is the encounter with Christ that changed their lives. They experienced a love that healed them and set them free. They then became apostles and ministers of freedom for others.”—Pope Francis

Spiritual bonus

On June 29 we also remember Saint Magdalenda Du Fengju and her daughter Saint Maria Du Tianshi. These two women were martyred together on June 29, 1900, in Du, Shenzhou, Hebei (China) during the anti-Christian persecution of the Boxer Rebellion. They were canonized with other Chinese martyrs in 2000.

Prayer

Grant, we pray, O Lord our God,
that we may be sustained
by the intercession of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul,
that, as through them you gave your Church
the foundations of her heavenly office,
so through them you may help her to eternal salvation.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

Access our archives of daily saint biographies here

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