Prima pagină > in English, ORTODOXIE > June 29th – Holy Glorious and all praised Leaders of the Apostles, Peter & Paul

June 29th – Holy Glorious and all praised Leaders of the Apostles, Peter & Paul

June 29th – Holy Glorious and all praised Leaders of the Apostles, Peter & Paul


Saint Peter, originally known as Simon,
was the son of a man named John,
and his brother’s name was Andrew.
We also know that he was married,
since Jesus cured his mother-in-law at the family home
at Bethsaida in Gallilee [Matth.8: 14-17].

A fisherman by trade, Jesus was to call Peter,
along with his brother Andrew and James and John,
to leave everything behind to become His followers.
He said to them
Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men“.
Matthew 4: 19

It is because of Peter’s confession of faith
in Jesus as Messiah
that Jesus gave him the nickname of “rock”
and stated that
it was upon the rock of Peter’s faith
that the Church would rise [Matth.16: 18].
All the Gospel writers list Peter first
when naming the apostles of Jesus,
and there is no doubt that Peter was
the “first among equals
in the minds of the earliest Christians.
Time and again in the Gospels, however,
Peter demonstrates that his faith is imperfect, but growing.
He says things that make Jesus react strongly:
he denies that Jesus’ coming death should ever be allowed to happen [Matth.16: 22],
tells Jesus at the last Supper that He will never wash his feet [John 13: 8],
and denies association with Jesus three times,
even after Jesus predicted that he would do so [Luc.22: 61].
Saint Peter can show us
how difficult discipleship can truly be,
but is also an example of the Lord
choosing the weak and making them strong
in bearing witness to Him.

Peter was martyred [crucified upside down on a cross]
for the Faith in the year 64 in Rome,
the city he served as its first bishop.
His successors in that office, who exercise
the ministry of Bishop of Rome to this day.

Saint Paul
Saint Paul’s background
and journey of faith is somewhat different
from Saint Peter’s.
Paul, who was originally known as Saul,
was an educated Jew
and a member of the Pharisee party,
as well as being a Roman citizen.
He first appears in the pages of Scripture in Acts 7:58,
as being present at the Martyrdom of Saint Stephanos,
the first of Jesus’ followers to be put to death
because of his faith in Jesus.
Saul persecuted the Christians savagely,
but was dramatically converted to the very One
he had been persecuting after seeing Jesus in a vision.

 Acts 9: 4

From that time on, Saul,
who was now known as Paul,
poured the same energy
with which he persecuted Christ’s followers
into bringing the Gospel of Jesus to
as many people as he could.

Paul travelled around most of what
was the Roman Empire,
establishing Christian communities
and witnessing to the Risen Jesus,
while asserting that he, too,
was one of the Apostles,
although “one born out of the normal course” [1Cor.15: 8].
In his many letters to the various Christian communities
he established [or those written by others with his approval],
today, form the bulk of the writings of the New Testament.
Paul was also martyred at Rome, three years after Saint Peter,
in the year 67 AD, by being beheaded
[his Roman citizenship would not permit his being crucified].
The feast commemorating his conversion is kept on January 25.

Peter and Paul represent two strikingly different approaches to discipleship.
Peter had to learn slowly, make many mistakes along the way,
but always experienced the compassionate forgiveness and encouragement of Jesus .
Paul, on the other hand, came to the Faith immediately
and never backed away from his zeal for Christ after that.
Many of us can see both these great Apostles in ourselves.
Like Peter, we sometimes fail but yet persevere.
Like Paul, we must always be on fire for the Lord,
and proclaim Him to everyone
and in every situation,
no matter how difficult
it can sometimes be
to do so.

Unity in diversity
It happened on one occasion
that a brother in the monastery of Saint Hatil
was tempted, [and he fell,]
and having been expelled from that place
he went to the Mountains, to Saint Antony,
and having remained with this Saint for a long time,
Saint Antony sent him back to the monastery
from which he had gone forth.
Now when the sons of the monastery saw this brother,
they cast him out, and he returned to Saint Antony,
and said unto him,
Father, they have refused to receive me“;
and Saint Antony sent them a message, saying,
A storm rose up against a ship on the sea,
and destroyed the freight which she carried,
but with the greatest difficulty
she was saved [and brought] to land.
Now what do ye wish to do?
Do you wish to drown him that hath been saved?

And when those monks [heard the words of] Saint Antony,
they sent to the brother, and welcomed him with gladness.


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