"I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven."
"Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, ... according to the spirit of sanctification, by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead; By whom we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith, in all nations, for his name; Among whom are you also the called of Jesus Christ."
Sunday June 28/29
Solemntity of SS Peter and Paul, Apostles
Collect: Lord our God,
encourage us through the prayers
of Saints Peter and Paul.
May the apostles who strengthened the faith
of the infant Church help us on our way of salvation.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
your Son, who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Veneration of the two great Apostles, Peter and Paul, has its roots in the very foundations of the Church. They are the solid rock on which the Church is built. They are at the origin of her faith and will forever remain her protectors and her guides. To them Rome owes her true greatness, for it was under God's providential guidance that they were led to make the capital of the Empire, sanctified by their martyrdom, the center of the Christian world whence should radiate the preaching of the Gospel.
St. Peter suffered martyrdom under Nero, in A.D. 66 or 67. He was buried on the hill of the Vatican where recent excavations have revealed his tomb on the very site of the basilica of St. Peter's. St. Paul was beheaded in the via Ostia on the spot where now stands the basilica bearing his name. Down the centuries Christian people in their thousands have gone on pilgrimage to the tombs of these Apostles. In the second and third centuries the Roman Church already stood pre-eminent by reason of her apostolicity, the infallible truth of her teaching and her two great figures, Sts. Peter and Paul.