Seventh Sunday After Pentecost Falls under the feast day of Saints Peter and Paul. The Church celebrates the feasts of these two great saints considered to be as pillars of the Church. Both were Apostles and and Martyrs. Shown here is the Painting of St. Peter by Francesco del Cossa. On the left end is the Byzantine carving of St. Paul.
St. Peter is called the Prince of the Apostles, and the First Pope of the Church. In the Scripture we find that Christ made the first call to Simon Peter and his companions while they were fishing on the lake. "And Jesus walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother , casting a net into the sea (for they were fishers). And he saith to them: Come ye after me, and I will make you to be fishers of men." Matthew 4:18-19 (Douay-Rheims Version). An avid follower of Jesus Christ. His name was changed from Simon to Cephas (Peter) which means "rock". His confession that Jesus was the Messiah, Son of God and Savior of Israel earned Him the Lord's favor and thereby he was given the charged to be chief of the Apostles. Christ in ordaining Him spoke thus: "Thou art Peter and upon this rock I willbuild my Church and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it." St. John the evangelist gave us a very beautiful account of how Our Lord charged Peter with the care of the Church. "Feed my lambs", "Feed my Sheep". During Christ's passion, Satan has desired to sift Peter away, But Christ prayed for Peter that he may be strengthened, and charged him to strengthen the brethren. Indeed St. Peter died a martyr for the faith. Tradition had it that when he was crucified he made the request that he be crucified upside down because he felt unworthy to be crucified in the same way that the Lord was crucified. St. Peter, Chief of the Apostles, Vicar of Christ, Supreme Pontiff, Martyr and Saint, pray for us, and pray for our unity here on earth. Amen.
St. Paul was known as the Apostle to the Gentiles. At first he was a persecutor of the Christians. A devout Pharisee and Jew, St. Paul persecuted the primitive Church. Hailing them to judges and jailing them. But on the way to Damascus, Christ appeared to him in a vision, asking him "Saul, Saul why are you persecuting me?" Paul replied, "who are you Lord?"... "I am Jesus of Nazareth whom you persecutes..." From Damascus St. Paul was converted and was instrumental in the spread of Christianity among the Gentiles. He died as a martyr during the reign of Emperor Nero. Through his effort the Christian faith was spread to the gentile nations. He struggled and resisted the Judaizers who were aiming to impose circumcision and the Mosaic ritual law among the gentiles. In the Council of Jerusalem, he argued for these proposals.