Today is the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul. It is a feast to honor the martyrdom of both men since they were martyred around the same time (67AD).
St. Peter was a fisherman and became one of the first followers of Jesus. He was the first to recognize that Jesus was the Messiah. He was bold but also impulsive. 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 of the Church and spent his last years in Rome where he led the Church through persecution. He was martyred and was crucified upside-down at his own request, because he said that he was not worthy to die as his Lord did. He was buried on Vatican hill and St. Peter's Basilica was built over his tomb.
St. Paul was originally known as Saul. He was a Jewish pharisee who persecuted Christians in Jerusalem. As Saul was walking one day, he was surrounded by a great light from heaven. He became blind and heard a voice from heaven saying, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Saul answered,“Who are you, Lord?” and the voice said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” Jesus instructed Saul to continue on to Damascus where Saul was baptized and his sight restored. He took the name Paul and spent the remainder of his life preaching the Gospel tirelessly to the Gentiles. Paul was imprisoned and beaten over and over. In the end, he was taken to Rome, where he was beheaded. He is buried in Rome in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.
Ways to Celebrate:
Since St. Peter was a fisherman, eat fish, go fishing or play a game of “Go Fish”!
Since St. Paul was a tentmaker, have your kids make a tent using sheets and blankets.