St. Peter and St. Paul, Apostles
By Living with Christ Staff
These two apostles, both martyred in Rome according to early tradition, have been honored from the earliest days.
Simon, a Galilean, was a married fisherman, chosen by Jesus to be his disciple. Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter (Greek, “rock”) and told him that it was on this rock that he would build his Church. After the Ascension, Acts describes Peter as the “chief of the apostles” and, from the middle of the 3rd century onward, documents show that the bishops of Rome were recognized as the successors of Peter.
Paul, the “apostle of the Gentiles,” was born a Roman citizen in Tarsus and educated as a Pharisee. His experience of the risen Christ resulted in his conversion from a persecutor of Christians to an apostle. After about three years in seclusion, he went to Jerusalem and, through the intervention of Barnabas, came to be trusted and accepted in the Christian community. In the Acts of the Apostles, Luke describes Paul’s missionary journeys, his return to Jerusalem, his subsequent arrest, and his appeal to Caesar (his right as a Roman citizen). Tradition tells us that Paul was martyred for the faith about the year 66.
Like these two great apostles, may we offer ourselves fully in Christ’s service no matter what the cost.