Instruction on the Solemnity of the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul

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Instruction on the Solemnity of the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul

Double of the First Class Feast Red Vestments

This feast, as a Double of the First Class supercedes the semi-double feast of the Third Sunday After Pentecost or the Sunday With the Octave of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus The ApostlesSaint Peter and Saint Paul are the two Princes of the Apostles, the foundations of the Church, on which she is firmly established as on a rock. This Feast is almost entirely devoted to St. Peter, the Bishop of Rome, the great Apostle of the Gentiles being more specially honored on June 30. The lessons and prayers of this Mass describe how his Lord and Master Jesus Christ prepared the frevent Apostle, St. Peter, for the supreme office of the Papacy.
After the Descent of the Holy Ghost, St. Peter preached the Gospel in Judea and was cast into prison by the cruel Herod. He was miraculously delivered by an Angel and setablished his see first at Antioch, and then finally at Rome, where the first Pope exercised during twenty-five years the Supreme Authority vested in him by Christ Himself. Then he was arrested, and like St. Paul suffered martyrdom A.D. 65. This Feast marks the day of the translation of their relics.
One, Peter, could be considered the “Salt” as in the “salt of the earth”; the other, Paul, could be the “shaker” since he is the one who, after converting from the murdering Saul, really shook things up for the better and wasn’t afraid to “pepper” his flocks with the truth and rebuke them when they were wrong. These two saints are lovingly referred to as the “Salt and Pepper” of the Church.
Source: Marian Missal and St. Andrew Daily Missal and 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia
Readings for the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul
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Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul

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Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul

St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles
by Fr. Francis Xavier Weninger, 1877

Although the Catholic Church celebrates the festival of St. Peter and St. Paul today, yet, as the office and Mass of tomorrow are especially appointed for the commemoration of St. Paul, we will give today to St. Peter and tomorrow to St. Paul. Peter, the prince of the Apostles, the visible head of the Christian Church, the Vicar of Christ on earth, was born at Bethsaida, a small town in Galilee, on the Sea of Genesareth. Before he became a follower of Christ, he was called Simon, and his father Jonas or John. He married Perpetua, a daughter of Aristobulus, but left her afterwards for Christ’s sake. Andrew, his elder brother, was a disciple of John the Baptist. As soon as the latter had heard, from the lips of his holy teacher, that Jesus of Nazareth was the true Messiah, and had convinced himself of the fact by a conversation with Christ, he informed his brother Simon of it and went with him to the Saviour. Christ, looking at Simon, said: “Thou art Simon, the son of Jonas; thou shalt be called Cephas,” which means the same as Peter or a rock. After having had some discourses with Christ, Peter again went home, and announced to others the advent of the true Messiah.
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Saints Peter and Paul

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Saints Peter and Paul
Apostles († 67)

This feast day commemorates the martyrdom of the two great Apostles, assigned by tradition to the same day of June in the year 67. They had been imprisoned in the famous Mamertine Prison of Rome and both had foreseen their approaching death. Saint Peter was crucified; Saint Paul, a Roman citizen, was slain by the sword. Tomorrow the Church commemorates the Apostle of the Gentiles; today is dedicated primarily to Saint Peter.

The Chief of the Apostles was a native of Galilee like Our Lord. As he was fishing on its large lake he was called by Our Lord to be one of His apostles. Peter was poor and unlearned, but candid, eager, and loving. In his heart, first of all, his conviction grew, and then from his lips came the spontaneous confession: Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God! Our Lord chose him and prepared him to be the Rock on which He would build His Church, His Vicar on earth, the Head and Prince of His Apostles, the center and indispensable bond of the Church’s unity, the unique channel of all spiritual powers, the guardian and unerring teacher of His truth.

All Scripture is alive with Saint Peter; his name appears no fewer than 160 times in the New Testament. But it is after Pentecost that he stands out in the full grandeur of his office. He sees to the replacement of the fallen disciple; he admits the Jews by thousands into the fold and in the person of Cornelius, opens it to the Gentiles; he founds and for a time rules the Church at Antioch.

Ten years after the Ascension Saint Peter transferred his apostolic capital to Rome, going in person to the center of the majestic Roman Empire, where were gathered the glories and riches of the earth, along with all the powers of evil. From there he sent Saint Mark, his valued secretary, to establish the Church of Alexandria in Egypt. In Rome Saint Peter’s Chair was placed; there for twenty-five years he labored at building up the great Roman Church. He was crucified by order of Nero and buried on the Vatican Hill, where now the Basilica stands which bears his name.

Reflection. Saint Peter is the author of two profoundly doctrinal epistles. He still lives on in his successors who maintain the same holy and immutable doctrine; he still rules and feeds the flock committed to him. The reality of our devotion to him is the surest test of the purity of our faith.

Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 7; Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints, and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).

Traditional Latin Mass: Feast of the Sacred Heart

By the Sacred Heart of Jesus must be understood not the lifeless heart, separated from the body of Christ, but the tender, loving heart of the God-Man, the home of all His emotions, the fountain of all His virtues, and the most touching embodiment of His infinite love for man. The Catholic Church, in like manner, sets apart certain festivals with appropriate Mass and office, in honor of the cross, of our Lord’s sacred blood and wounds that our devotion to the Redeemer may be rendered more fervent by the contemplation of these objects, for Jesus has shed His blood for us, has received wounds for us which He retained even after His resurrection, as eternal signs of His immense love for man, has taken them with Him to heaven, and will show them to us on the judgment Day. How much more should our Saviour’s Sacred Heart be the object of our devotion, since all the thoughts, sentiments, and emotions of this most loving heart aim only at our salvation, and since it is always ready to receive truly penitent sinners to forgive them, again to turn His love to them, and make them sharers in eternal bliss.

Therefore the saints have from the first encouraged a tender devotion to this most Sacred Heart, as already mentioned. “Longinus,” says St. Augustine, “opened the side of Jesus with His spear; in it I enter, and securely rest.” “O how good,” exclaims St. Bernard, “how lovely to take up my abode in this Heart! In this temple, in this sanctuary, before this ark of the covenant, I will adore and praise the name of the Lord, and say with the prophet: I have found in the heart of Jesus, my king, my brother, my friend.” “Believe me, O blinded men,” says St. Bonaventura, “if you knew how to enter by His sacred wounds into the interior of Jesus, you would there find not, only a wonderful sweetness for your soul, but even sweet repose for your body. And if even the body there finds rest, how great, think you, must be the sweetness which the spirit there enjoys, if through these wounds we become united to the Sacred Heart of Jesus!” And St. Peter Damian says: “In this adorable heart we find the weapons with which to defend ourselves against our enemies, a cure for our ills, powerful help against temptations, the sweetest consolation is suffering, and the purest joy in this valley of tears.”

St. Mechtild and St. Gertrude found themselves transported in an especial manner by the tenderness of this adorable heart, to adore it fervently, and Gertrude, enlightened by the Spirit of God, spoke these prophetic words: “The Lord retained until these late centuries the devotion to His Sacred Heart, as a last effort of His divine love.” We have already seen how these words have been verified in the pious Margaret. O would that Jesus’ great desire that all men, might know and love His Sacred Heart be accomplished!

Feast of the Sacred Heart

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Feast of the Sacred Heart

“This is life everlasting that they may know Thee, and whom
Thou hast sent, Jesus Christ.”–John xvii, 3.

As the pulpit text which I have just read for you, dearly beloved in Christ, admonishes us, more is necessary for our salvation than faithfully to confess God the Father, and whom He has sent, Jesus Christ; for, if this confession is to deliver and save us, we must follow Christ by obeying the teachings of the faith He brought into the world. The devils also confess God, and yet they remain devils; they also confess Jesus Christ, yet they are damned forever. Therefore, St. Paul so expressly declares to the early Christians: “And what else do I require of you, by all I have told you, by word and by our epistle, than that you advance in the knowledge and love of Christ?” which means that, in proportion as this knowledge and love takes root in your heart, and increases and fructifies, so also will you, together with me, follow Jesus, and be saved through Him. These are the words of the Apostle of nations.

But it is precisely in this regard that a very great deficiency is generally manifested. Not to speak of those who know nothing of Jesus save what they have learned from history, and who are not members of the true faith, how many, even among those who call themselves Catholics, and, perhaps, live exteriorly as such, in reality know Him not! They know Him, as it were, only by name; they know Him not personally; and the “knowledge they have of the divine Saviour exercises no beneficial influence upon their lives.
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