Today is the great Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul. In some places, such as Great Britain, this day is so revered that it is a Holy Day of Obligation!
But why do we celebrate these two apostles on the same day? After all, they didn’t spend much time together. Peter focused on evangelizing the Jews, while Paul traveled all over the Mediterranean converting the Gentiles.
The answer: we celebrate these two together because they are, in different ways, the foundational pillars of the Church.
Peter was the first pope, the prince and head of the Apostles, the rock upon which Christ founded His Church. He was the first in an unbroken line of popes who have guided the Church ever since and will do so till the end of time.
Paul was the great Apostle of the Gentiles, whose missionary labors were integral to the early spread of the Faith. He also wrote a huge chunk of the New Testament, authoring fourteen Epistles that are critical sources for Catholic doctrine.
Both were martyred in Rome, the capital city of the Church, only a short time apart. Their blood consecrated the Eternal City as she began her new role as the center of Christendom. There, towering statues of each of them flank either side of the mighty St. Peter’s Basilica, where the bones of Peter rest beneath the high altar.
So, it makes sense that we should have a joint celebration of these two lions of the Faith, doesn’t it? The tradition of celebrating them together goes back, in fact, to the very early centuries of the Church.
Celebrate St. Peter, St. Paul, and the Church they built with our exclusive Vatican Story Mug. Covered in beautiful images from the Vatican—including Saints Peter and Paul, the Pietá, St. Peter’s Basilica, and more—this fun and fascinating piece not only holds your morning java, but will capture your imagination as well! Don’t forget to pick up some of our St. Peter Parish Roast Coffee to go with it. All available today at The Catholic Company.