Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul
Today is a solemnity that often just slips by us. The Church accredits the same importance to this solemnity as it does to any other solemnity. It may not carry the weight of a Christmas or Easter, but it is just as important. We celebrate the Saints Peter and Paul and recognize their martyrdom. Some think both were martyred on the same day, but on different years. Peter was crucified upside down. He did not deem it worthy to suffer crucifixion in the same manner that Jesus was crucified. Paul was killed by the sword by beheading.
It is thought that on the hill where Peter was crucified now stands St Peters of the Vatican. It has been discovered that his remains do remain in the catacombs below the church. It is significant to note he died within the walls of the Rome. Paul was beheaded along the via Ostia. This was outside the walls of Rome. There is now a church at that location properly called St Paul’s. Both men can be considered the primary leaders to take the church of Jesus Christ to the world. They were the men who changed the Roman Empire. They were the beginning of many changes.
As we enter this week celebrating Religious Freedom, it is good to remember the prejudice and attacks upon our church. We can follow the example of Sts Peter and Paul. They took the faith to the people around them. They discipled one another. They walked the journey with the faithful and taught those wanting to learn. They did not force or threaten or become angry or scream. They quietly went along the work of the Lord proclaiming the Good News. I invite you, today, to do the same.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen