A Message from Father Nathan
My dearest people who are all close to my heart
Lots of love, blessings, and prayers to you all.
the Feast Day of Sts. Peter and Paul
Patron saints of Rome and are considered the cornerstones of the Church
This celebration is a liturgical feast in honor of the martyrdom in Rome of the apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul and is observed on June 29th.
On June 29th, the Church celebrates the Feast Day of Sts. Peter and Paul. As early as the year 258, There is evidence of an already lengthy tradition of celebrating the solemnities of both Saint Peter and Saint Paul on the same day.
Together, the two saints are the founders of the City of Rome, through their preaching, ministry, and martyrdom there. I was reminded of my seminary days when on this day we usually would have a seminar or symposium of something regarding the church or church-related documents. For a full day, we were given abundant knowledge and teachings on the church. What a wonderful memory I still have!
St. Peter was the first Pope and founder of the Roman Catholic Church. St. Paul was responsible for much of the New Testament and is one of the most important Apostles who spread the teachings of Jesus and Christianity. In fact, 13 of the 27 books of the New Testament are attributed to St. Paul.
Peter, who was named Simon, was a fisherman of Galilee and was introduced to the Lord Jesus by his brother Andrew also a fisherman. Jesus gave him the name Cephas (Petrus in Latin), which means “Rock” because he was to become the rock upon which Christ would build His Church.
Peter was a bold follower of the Lord. He was the first to recognize that Jesus was “the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” and eagerly pledged his fidelity until death. In his boldness, he also made many mistakes, such as losing faith when walking on water with Christ and betraying the Lord on the night of His passion. Yet despite his human weaknesses, Peter was chosen to shepherd God’s flock.
The Acts of the Apostles illustrate his role as head of the Church after the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ. Peter led the Apostles as the first Pope and ensured the disciples kept their true faith.
St. Peter martyred
St. Peter was said to have been martyred around 64 A.D. during the reign of Emperor Nero. His death was by crucifixion since he was not a Roman citizen. Considering himself unworthy to die in the same way that Jesus did, he requested that he be crucified upside down. He was buried in what was to become the Vatican Necropolis and St. Peter’s Basilica was built over his tomb.
He was given “the keys to Paradise” – the attribute of his authority and those of his successors who are destined to maintain the Church on the path of truth and unity.
St. Paul martyred
St. Paul was said to also have been martyred during this time as well. He was beheaded and buried in Rome outside the walls. Although the church recognizes that they may not have died on the same day, tradition says that this is the day they were both martyred in Rome by Emperor Nero.
God bless you all.
With lots of love and blessings,
Ever wanting to be faithful to your service,
— Fr. Sahayanathan Nathan
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