Sunday, June 29, 2014

Saint Peter and St Paul

St Peter at Floriana church, Malta
The two pillars of the church are honored today on their liturgical feast day. Even though they became known as the most popular apostles, their beginning was not as pleasant. Peter was the rough and tough type fisherman who had to be fine-tuned and polished by Jesus and eventually became the first Pope. However there were some conflicting moments in his life, especially during Jesus’ passion when Peter three times denied even knowing Jesus. Some friend eh! However Jesus forgave him, after the triple affirmation of faith, and changing his name from Simon to Peter, the Rock, on which the church was to be built. It must have worked, because from the 12 apostles, we are now up to 1.2 billion Catholics.
St Paul in Floriana church, Malta
St Paul on the other hand was even more aggressive as he used to persecute Christians, only to be converted on his way to Damascus when Jesus appeared to him, and his complete turnaround started. He eventually traveled all over Eastern Europe, through Greece, modern day Turkey and even venturing on the sea being shipwrecked on my homeland of Malta where he baptized all the inhabitants. He also wrote letters to the many communities he visited, beautiful theological reflections which we read every Sunday in our 2nd reading at Mass. Both Peter and Paul were martyred, Peter being crucified upside down, and Paul being beheaded in Rome.

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