Happy Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul!

June 29, 2019

Caravaggio’s depiction of Paul’s conversion

A happy and most glorious feast day of Sts. Peter and Paul! Today is a first-class feast and a patronal one for our Fraternity, named for the Prince of the Apostles. Members of the Confraternity of St. Peter can gain a plenary indulgence today under the usual conditions.

St. Peter is the rock upon which Christ built His Church, the first of those Vicars that He has put in place to keep her on firm footing as she treads the often twisted and tempestuous paths of history. St. Paul’s mission was to bring the Gospel to the Gentiles, which he was uniquely suited to do, being both a Jew and a Roman. The Acts of the Apostles and his own letters to the various churches among which he worked bear testament to the incredible extent of his journeys and labors, which would start one fateful day on the road to Damascus, take him thousands of miles through Israel, Syria, Turkey and Greece and end with his martyrdom in Rome.

The lives of both saints are parables of God’s mercy and Providence: St. Peter is almost as well-known for his denial of Christ as for his confession of Him, and St. Paul, before becoming Christianity’s most avid missionary, was first its most avid adversary. “But by the grace of God, I am what I am; and his grace in me hath not been void”, says St. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians, proclaiming in the second letter to the same community that “power is made perfect in infirmity”. Certainly these two saints and their prayers on our behalf should give us every reason to hope that God will use our own infirmities as illustrations of His divine power, which is able to turn our frail humanity into just what He needs to accomplish His Will if we, like Sts. Peter and Paul, respond to the call.

Liberation of Peter by Murillo

Today’s Mass is primarily concerned with the Apostle Peter, the Epistle recounting his miraculous deliverance from prison by the angel, and the Gospel his confession of Christ’s divinity. This feast is normally followed on June 30th by the Commemoration of St. Paul, a Mass more specifically dedicated to the Apostle of the Gentiles, though this year the 30th falls on a Sunday so it will be superseded by the Mass of the Sunday.

Please remember all the priests of our Fraternity in your prayers today, especially the six deacons from our Wigratzbad seminary who will be ordained to the sacred priesthood today by the Most Reverend Czesław Kozon, Bishop of Copenhagen. +

O God, Who hast made this day holy by the martyrdom of Thine Apostles Peter and Paul: grant that Thy Church may in all things follow the precepts of those through whom she received the beginnings of the Faith. 

– the Collect for the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul