Saint Peter and Saint Paul are important figures in Christian society. Peter and Paul were effective in spreading the gospel of Christ in the early days.
We largely know them for spreading Christianity and they considered their feast day a solemnity. Solemnity is the highest order of honor in the Roman Catholic.
We also know the Christian holiday for Saints Peter and Paul as the Feast Day of Saints Peter and Paul, or the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul.
It is a day to honor the martyrdom for both men. This is a Christian holiday celebrated by many churches, including Catholics, Orthodox, and other churches.
It is an ancient Christian holiday observed on June 29th. They selected the date as the anniversary of their death or the transformation of their remains.
But very few people can tell why Christians celebrate Saints Peter and Paul’s holiday.
Why celebrate the Christian Holiday for Saints Peter and Paul?
According to the bible, Saint Peter and Saint Paul are two eminent men of God who were executed around the same time and buried in Rome.
The feast day is to honor the martyrdom of St. Peter and St. Paul that occurred between 64 AD and 68 AD.
Although the church believes they were not executed the same day, traditions believe they were martyred around the same time in Rome.
We consider this day solemnity or a great feast day of the highest rank. It is a kind of honor reserved for most important events, such as the lives of Jesus or Mary.
This means the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul is an important event to the Catholic faith.
Why don’t Saints Peter and Paul get a feast day each?
Most Saints have their own feast days. However, Saints Peter and Paul share a feast day. It is because Emperor Nero executed them around the same time.
Also, St. Augustine of Hippo gave a sermon that both apostles share a feast day because they are one. Even though they suffered at different times, they are one. He also said that Peter went first, then Paul followed.
Saints Peter and Paul made the day holy through their labors, sufferings, preachings, confessions of their faith, and their lives.
Why are Peter and Paul so important to the Christian church?
Both Peter and Paul are patron saints of Rome. Also, they are considered the cornerstones of the church.
Peter was among the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ. We also know Peter as Simon Peter, Cephas, or Peter the Apostle. Simon Peter was an angler, and his name was Simon.
Jesus remained him Peter, meaning the “Rock”. He was to become a rock upon which Jesus Christ would build His church. In the Bible (New Testament), Peter appears importantly and frequently in Acts and all Gospels.
Simon Peter is a brother to Andrew, also an Apostle of Jesus Christ. The New Testament has two letters (First Peter and Second Peter) credited to him.
Peter was a loyal follower of Jesus Christ, and he was bold to say that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and the Messiah.
But he was weak when he denied Jesus Christ 3 times when Jesus was being crucified. Happily, Jesus redeemed him, and he stayed true to his calling. He is the rock of the ancient church in Rome.
Emperor Nero executed Peter around 64 AD in Rome. Since he was not a Roman citizen, his death was crucifixion. They crucified him upside-down, saying he was not worthy to die as his Lord, Jesus Christ.
For Catholics, Peter was the first Pope and the founder of the Roman Catholic Church.
We commonly know Paul as Paul the Apostle or Saint Paul. Before he became Paul, his name was Saul. According to the New Testament, Saul was a Jewish Pharisee who terribly persecuted early converts to Christianity.
In the books of Acts, Saul was going to Damascus to persecute the early disciples of Jesus when he had an exciting encounter with God.
Jesus appeared to him in a bright light that struck him blind. Three days later, his sight was restored, and he preached that Jesus Christ was Son of God.
From that point, his name changed from Saul to Paul and became a loyal follower of God. Half of the book of Acts in the New Testament talks about Paul’s life and his work.
They attributed fourteen books in the New Testament to Paul. He preached the Good News of Jesus Christ and ended up in Rome.
According to the Second Letter of Timothy, Paul was imprisoned and put on trial in Rome. Emperor Nero beheaded him between 64 AD and 68 AD in Rome. This was the same time they executed Saint Peter.
How are Saints Peter and Paul’s Day Celebrated?
Saints Peter and Paul’s holiday is a great day in Rome and for Catholics. We honor it all over the world on the 29th of June.
In Rome, Schools, banks, stores, and major institutions are closed to celebrate the Feast Day of Saints Peter and Paul.
In the Vatican, the city is full of celebrations, both religious and secular. It is also a public holiday in many Catholic majority nations, especially in Europe and South America.
There are also special masses in Catholic churches all over the world. Festivals, parades, bazaars, they hold pageants on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul.
Saints Peter and Paul are patron saints of Rome and cornerstones of the church. Thus, the Feast Day of Saints Peter and Paul is an extraordinary event in the Christian Calendar.
The two men had a great impact in spreading the Gospel of Jesus that their feast day is a solemnity. Many Christians view this day as a Catholic holiday because Saint Peter was the first Pope.
But in the Orthodox Church, the Feast Day of St Peter and Paul marks the end of Apostle’s Fast. Thus, it is an important day for the church.
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