ST. PETER AND ST. PAUL
On June 29 the Church celebrates the feast day of Sts. Peter & Paul. As early as the year 258, there is evidence of an already lengthy tradition of celebrating the solemnities of both Saint Peter and Saint Paul on the same day. Together, the two saints are the founders of the See of Rome, through their preaching, ministry and martyrdom there.
Peter, who was named Simon, was a fisherman of Galilee and was introduced to the Lord Jesus by his brother Andrew, also a fisherman. Jesus gave him the name Cephas (Petrus in Latin), which means ‘Rock,’ because he was to become the rock upon which Christ would build His Church.
Peter was a bold follower of the Lord. He was the first to recognize that Jesus was “the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” and eagerly pledged his fidelity until death. In his boldness, he also made many mistakes, however, such as losing faith when walking on water with Christ and betraying the Lord on the night of His passion.
Yet despite his human weaknesses, Peter was chosen to shepherd God's flock. The Acts of the Apostles illustrates his role as head of the Church after the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ. Peter led the Apostles as the first Pope and ensured that the disciples kept the true faith.
St. Peter spent his last years in Rome, leading the Church through persecution and eventually being martyred in the year 64. He was crucified upside-down at his own request, because he claimed he was not worthy to die as his Lord.
He was buried on Vatican hill, and St. Peter's Basilica is built over his tomb.
St. Paul was the Apostle of the Gentiles. His letters are included in the writings of the New Testament, and through them we learn much about his life and the faith of the early Church.
Before receiving the name Paul, he was Saul, a Jewish pharisee who zealously persecuted Christians in Jerusalem. Scripture records that Saul was present at the martyrdom of St. Stephen.
Saul's conversion took place as he was on his way to Damascus to persecute the Christian community there. As he was traveling along the road, he was suddenly surrounded by a great light from heaven. He was blinded and fell off his horse. He then heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” He answered: “Who are you, Lord?” Christ said: “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”
Saul continued to Damascus, where he was baptized and his sight was restored. He took the name Paul and spent the remainder of his life preaching the Gospel tirelessly to the Gentiles of the Mediterranean world.
Paul was imprisoned and taken to Rome, where he was beheaded in the year 67.
He is buried in Rome in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.
In a sermon in the year 395, St. Augustine of Hippo said of Sts. Peter and Paul: “Both apostles share the same feast day, for these two were one; and even though they suffered on different days, they were as one. Peter went first, and Paul followed. And so we celebrate this day made holy for us by the apostles' blood. Let us embrace what they believed, their life, their labors, their sufferings, their preaching, and their confession of faith.”
Readings for the Vigil Mass on the evening before the feast:
Once, when Peter and John were going up to the Temple for the prayers at the ninth hour, it happened that there was a man being carried past. He was a cripple from birth; and they used to put him down every day near the Temple entrance called the Beautiful Gate so that he could beg from the people going in. When this man saw Peter and John on their way into the Temple he begged from them. Both Peter and John looked straight at him and said, ‘Look at us.’ He turned to them expectantly, hoping to get something from them, but Peter said, ‘I have neither silver nor gold, but I will give you what I have: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, walk!’ Peter then took him by the hand and helped him to stand up. Instantly his feet and ankles became firm, he jumped up, stood, and began to walk, and he went with them into the Temple, walking and jumping and praising God. Everyone could see him walking and praising God, and they recognised him as the man who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple. They were all astonished and unable to explain what had happened to him.
No speech, no word, no voice is heard
The Good News I preached is not a human message that I was given by men, it is something I learnt only through a revelation of Jesus Christ. You must have heard of my career as a practising Jew, how merciless I was in persecuting the Church of God, how much damage I did to it, how I stood out among other Jews of my generation, and how enthusiastic I was for the traditions of my ancestors.
After Jesus had shown himself to his disciples and eaten with them, he said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?’ He answered, ‘Yes Lord, you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He replied, ‘Yes, Lord, you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Look after my sheep.’ Then he said to him a third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was upset that he asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ and said, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.
[Ġw:21:15] Wara li kielu xi ħaġa, Ġesù qal lil Xmun Pietru: "Xmun bin Ġwanni, tħobbni int aktar minn dawn?" "Iva, Mulej," wieġbu, "int taf li nħobbok." Qallu: "Irgħa l-ħrief tiegħi." [Ġw:21:16] Staqsieh għat-tieni darba: "Xmun bin Ġwanni, tħobbni int?" "Iva, Mulej," wieġbu,"int taf li nħobbok." Qallu: "Irgħa n-nagħaġ tiegħi." [Ġw:21:17] Għat-tielet darba staqsieh: "Xmun bin Ġwanni, tħobbni?" Pietru ħass għafsa ta' qalb għax staqsieh għat-tielet darba, 'Tħobbni?' u qallu: "Mulej, int taf kollox, inti taf li nħobbok." Qallu Ġesù: "Irgħa n-nagħaġ tiegħi. Ġw:21:18] Tassew tassew ngħidlek, meta kont żagħżugħ, kont titħażżem waħdek u tmur fejn trid; imma meta tixjieħ, int tiftaħ idejk u ħaddieħor iħażżmek u jieħdok fejn ma tkunx trid!" [Ġw:21:19] Dan qalu biex ifisser b'liema mewta kien sejjer jagħti glorja lil Alla. Mbagħad Ġesù ssokta jgħidlu: "Ejja warajja."
Holy Mass on the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, with Pope Francis 29 June 2016 HD
Archbishop: Don't fear God's surprises - Published on June 29, 2016
Glorify the Lord with me.
Look towards him and be radiant;
The angel of the Lord is encamped
|2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18|
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi he put this question to his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say he is John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But you,’ he said ‘who do you say I am?’ Then Simon Peter spoke up, ‘You are the Christ,’ he said ‘the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Simon son of Jonah, you are a happy man! Because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.’
Mt 16:13-19 -- Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah - Stqarrija tal-fidi minn Pietru
u l-primat tiegħu
Mk 8, 27-30 ; Lq 9, 18-21)
[Mt:16:13] Meta wasal fl-inħawi ta' Ċesarija ta' Filippu, Ġesù staqsa lid-dixxipli tiegħu u qalilhom: "Min jgħidu n-nies li hu Bin il-bniedem?" [Mt:16:14] U huma weġbuh: "Xi wħud, Ġwanni l-Battista; oħrajn, Elija; u oħrajn, Ġeremija jew wieħed mill-profeti. "[Mt:16:15] Imma intom min tgħidu li jien?" staqsiehom. [Mt:16:16] U qabeż Xmun Pietru u qallu: "Inti l-Messija, Bin Alla l-ħaj." [Mt:16:17] U Ġesù wieġbu u qallu: "Hieni int, Xmun bin Ġona, għax mhux bniedem tad-demm u l-laħam uriek dan, imma Missieri li hu fis-smewwiet. [Mt:16:18] U jiena ngħidlek: Inti Pietru, u fuq din il-blata jiena nibni l-Knisja tiegħi, u s-setgħat ta' l-infern ma jegħlbuhiex. [Mt:16:19] Jiena nagħtik l-imfietaħ tas-Saltna tas-Smewwiet, u kull ma torbot fuq l-art ikun marbut fis-smewwiet, u kull ma tħoll fuq l-art ikun maħlul fis-smewwiet."