Updated: Jun 29
The Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul is a momentous occasion in the liturgical calendar, honoring two significant figures in Christian history. These apostles played pivotal roles in spreading the Gospel and shaping the early Church. We celebrate both men on the same day since they were martyred around the same time in 67 AD.
St. Peter holds a significant place in the history of Christianity as one of the foremost apostles and a central figure in the early Church. Initially, he was a fisherman and one of the first followers of Jesus. He was bold but also impulsive. He was the first to recognize Jesus as the Messiah and walk on water but also denied Jesus three times. After his baptism in the Holy Spirit, Peter became one of the main leaders in the early church. He was chosen to be an Apostle and spent his last years in Rome where he led the Church through persecution. He was martyred and crucified upside-down at his request because he said he was not worthy to die as his Lord did. He was buried on what is now known as Vatican Hill and St. Peter's Basilica was built over his tomb. St. Peter's pivotal role in spreading the Gospel and his unwavering faith, even in the face of persecution, continue to inspire Christians around the world. His example reminds us of the power of God's Holy Spirit to transform ordinary individuals into courageous witnesses of the faith.
St. Paul, formerly known as Saul of Tarsus, played a crucial role in the spread of Christianity and the development of Christian theology. He was initially a zealous persecutor of Christians but underwent a profound conversion experience on the road to Damascus, where he encountered the risen Christ. From that moment, his life was completely transformed, and he became one of the most influential figures in the early Christian Church. St. Paul's extensive missionary journeys, recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, took him throughout the Roman Empire, where he boldly preached the Gospel and established numerous Christian communities. His letters, known as the Pauline Epistles, form a significant portion of the New Testament and provide deep theological insights into the nature of salvation, grace, and the role of faith in Christ. St. Paul's teachings continue to shape Christian theology and guide believers in their understanding of the faith. His unwavering commitment to spreading the Gospel, enduring hardships, and establishing vibrant Christian communities makes him an important figure in Christian history.
Ways to Celebrate:
Read Acts 9:1-19. Discuss the difference in Saul. What happened to him that transformed him?
Since St. Peter was a fisherman, do something with fish: eat fish, go fishing, have a snack of goldfish crackers, or play a “Go Fish” game!
Since St. Paul was a tentmaker, do something with tents: have your kids make a tent using sheets and blankets, set up a tent in your yard, or make these cute "tents" made with graham crackers and chocolate (see recipe below).
Graham Cracker and Chocolate Tents
3 Tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 Tablespoons water
2 packages of graham crackers
Place the chocolate chips and water in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, stir and then continue microwaving in 30-second increments, stirring until smooth.
Break graham cracker sheets in half. Cover a square with melted chocolate and set it down. Place two other squares on top of the square covered in chocolate and let them come together to form a teepee. Hold the teepee together and spread melted chocolate where they join together. Set aside and allow the chocolate to harden.
Serve on a plate with goldfish crackers and enjoy the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul!