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The Holy Apostles Peter & Paul – Thursday, June 29

Double of the First Class with an Octave Red vestments

St. Peter was crucified, and St. Paul was beheaded in Rome during the persecution of Nero, in 67.

Today the whole Church rejoices, for “God has consecrated this day by the martyrdom of the Apostles Peter and Paul” (Collect). In both the grand basilicas erected at Rome over the tombs “of these two Princes who by the cross and the sword have obtained their seat in the eternal senate,” this double martyrdom was celebrated. Later, on account of the distance which separates the two churches the festival was divided, St. Peter being more specially honored on June 29 and St. Paul on June 30.

St. Peter, bishop of Rome, is the vicar, that is to say the visible representative of Christ. As is shown in the Preface, Alleluia, Gospel, Offertory, and Communion, the Jews had rejected Jesus. They also rejected His successor (Epistle), Displacing the religious center of the world, St. Peter the left Jerusalem for Rome which became the eternal city and the seat of the Popes.

St. Peter, the first Pope, speaks in the name of Christ who has communicated to him His infallibility.

St. Peter on receiving the keys is placed the head of the “kingdom of heaven” upon earth, that is to say the Church, and he reigns in the name of Christ who has invested him with His power and supreme authority (Gospel).

The names of St. Peter and St. Paul head the names of the apostles in the Canon of the Mass (first list, p. 537).

With “the Church which did not cease praying to God for St. Peter” (Epistle), let us pray for his successor “the servant of God, our Holy Father the Pope” (Canon of the Mass).

This Sunday, July 2, is the External Solemnity of the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul.

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