The Octave-Day Of Saint Peter And Saint Paul. Apostles.
On this, the last day of The Octave Consecrated to the triumph of these two Princes of The Apostles, let us once again salute the City [Rome] which was witness of their final combat. She is guardian of their tombs, and continues to be The See of Peter’s successors; by this double Title, she is the vestibule of Heaven, the capital of the Spiritual Empire.
The very thought of the august trophies that adorn both banks of her noble river, and of all those other glorious memories that linger around her, made the heart of Saint John Chrysostom exult with enthusiasm beneath the Eastern sky. We give his words as addressed to the people in one of his homilies:
“In very deed, the heavens, illuminated by the fiery rays of the meridian sun, have naught comparable to Rome’s resplendent rays shed over the whole Earth by these two luminaries. Thence will Paul arise, thence Peter, likewise. Reflect, yea, tremble, at the thought of what a spectacle Rome is to witness, when Peter and Paul, rising up from their graves, shall be borne aloft to meet The Lord.
How brilliant in her roseate hue is Rome before the eyes of Christ ! What garlands encircle this City ! With what Golden Chains is she girded ! What fountains are hers ! Oh !, this City of stupendous fame! I admire her, not because of the Gold wherewith she abounds, nor because of her proud porticoes, but because she holds within her these two Pillars of The Church.”
Then the illustrious orator goes on to remark how he burned with longing desire to visit these sacred tombs, the treasure of the World, the secure rampart of The Queen City.
The Liturgical Year. 1904. Abbot Dom Gueranger, O.S.B. Translated from the French by Dom Laurence Shepherd, O.S.B. Imprimatur, 1910.