SS. Peter & Paul icon

Saints Peter and Paul

Commemorated on June 29 (July 13)

Epistle: 2 Corinthians 11:21-12:9
Gospel: Matthew 10:13-19

St. Peter traditionally is regarded as the leader of the Twelve Disciples of Jesus. He was intimately connected with the earthly life and ministry of our Lord, and after His death tried to preserve the spiritual legacy left by Jesus to him followers. In the course of his missionary journeys, Peter founded the Church in Antioch, where the followers of Jesus were first called Christians. St. Peter is regarded by the Church as the first Bishop of Antioch, and the present-day Patriarch of Antioch is his successor in that Apostolic See.

St. Paul is the greatest of missionaries. The marvelous story of conversion on the Damascus Road (Acts 9:1-12) is hardly more striking than the rest of his life, one of the greatest adventure stories of history.

The account of Paul's missionary journeys and the letters he wrote to the Churches he founded form an important part of the New Testament. He traveled over vast areas of the Roman world, preaching Christ, and fashioning the Christians Faith for all time. He called himself an Apostle, and he was the greatest of them, even though he was not of the Twelve Disciples. St. Paul was martyred in Rome during the reign of the Emperor Nero, about 87 A.D.

Taken from The Icon Book by Boojamra, Essey, McLuckie, and Matusiak.

Peter and Paul were martyred in Rome under Emperor Nero in the year 87. Peter was crucified, head down at his own request [so that he would not die in the same way as Christ], and because Paul was a Roman Citizen, he was beheaded. The Church unites them in a common celebration and gives them identical honor.

Peter, a brother of Andrew the First-Called, was from Bethsaida. They were the sons of Jonas, of the tribe of Simeon. They lived by the work of their hands. At the time when John the Baptist was in prison, Jesus came to the Lake of Genesarett, and finding Peter and Andrew mending their nets, He called them and they followed Him without hesitation. Peter preached the Gospel in Judea, founded the Church of Antioch and finally came to Rome.

Paul, a Pharisee, belonged to the tribe of Benjamin. He was born in Tarsus of Asia Minor. At first, he persecuted the Church with great zeal and violence, imprisoning and killing Christians. But Christ appeared to him on the way to Damascus and changed his heart. He was baptized in Damascus by Ananias. He was to become one of the greatest exponents of Christ's teachings, which he explained in letters or epistles.

Taken from Byzantine Daily Worship.

About the Icon

Saint Peter, on the left, is portrayed as an elderly man with white hair and beard, his inner garment is traditionally green and his outer garment is yellow or gold. Saint Paul, on the right; is portrayed with brown hair and beard; his inner garment is blue and his outer garment is purple. The saints embrace each other to denote their concord of love and faith in Jesus Christ.

Taken from The Icon Book by Boojamra, Essey, McLuckie, and Matusiak.

Click [HERE] for the icon of Sts. Peter and Paul to color (GIF format, 26KB).

Troparion (Tone 4)

0 foremost in the ranks of apostles, and teachers of the world,
intercede with the Master of All to grant safety to the world
and to our souls the great mercy.

Kontakion (Tone 2)

O Lord, You have taken up to their eternal rest, and to the enjoyment of Your good things the two infallible preachers of divine truths and leaders of the apostles, for You have accepted their struggles and their death as being better than any holocaust, 0 You who alone know the secrets of hearts.

© 1996 by Orthodox Family Life and the original author(s).
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