Saint Peter and Saint Paul Day in Chile, or La Fiesta de San Pedro y San Pablo, is on June 29. This is a day when Chile commemorates the martyrdom of two beloved saints. These saints are so revered that they are the patron saints of present-day Vatican City. The Church as we know it would not exist without its rock, St. Peter. The Bible might have turned out differently without St. Paul’s teachings shaping the book. Why do these towering Christian figures share a feast day? It began with the reign of the infamous Roman emperor Nero, hell-bent on furthering a political agenda.
History of Saint Peter and Saint Paul Day (Chile)
Saint Peter and Saint Paul Day is celebrated every June 29. It is a solemn feast day that remembers the martyrdom of two central figures in Christianity. In the hierarchy of Catholic observances, this feast day is of the highest rank. It’s a sacred day to celebrate the lives of these two saints, who are second only to Jesus and Mary themselves in significance. However, why are the two saints celebrated together? Historical accounts suggest they died on different days, but Catholic tradition honors them together since St. Peter and St. Paul were martyred during the reign of Emperor Nero from 64 A.D. to 68 A.D.
Few figures in Christian lore evoke as much loathing as Nero. He epitomized the Roman distrust of Christians then — the faithful were seen as a foreign, minority community that did not belong. When a raging fire broke out in Rome, Nero found his scapegoats. He used Christian beliefs against the Christians. Who spoke about the world ending in a fire, after all? That the fire seemingly spared several Christian neighborhoods did not help. And thus, began the systematic persecution of Christians. Tradition says that St. Peter and St. Paul were some of the first to be martyred. If Nero wanted someone to blame, he would start with the most revered figures in Christianity.
Aside from being the first of the 12 apostles, St. Peter founded the Roman Church and was its first Pope. He died by crucifixion since he was not a Roman citizen. Legends say St. Peter requested an upside-down crucifixion since he deemed himself unworthy to die the way Jesus did. St. Paul was instrumental in spreading the word of Jesus. He was also the author of 13 of the 27 books in the ‘New Testament.’ Nero sentenced St. Paul to death by beheading — a tad more painless way to go since he was a Roman citizen.
On this day, Catholics around the world honor the two saints. Chileans attend a special mass and pray to the two saints to intercede to God on their behalf. People living near the Chilean coast decorate their boats, light candles, and organize parades in the water to honor St. Peter, the patron saint of fishermen.
Saint Peter and Saint Paul Day (Chile) timeline
The reign of the infamous Emperor Nero begins, during which he exercises restraint and curries favor among his subjects.
Fire breaks out near the Circus Maximus stadium and quickly spreads across Rome, for which Nero blames Christians.
St. Peter and St. Paul die in the official persecution of Christians — they are either thrown to wild animals, crucified, or burned alive.
Emperor Constantine converts to Christianity and builds a church above St. Peter’s grave, better known today as St. Peter’s Basilica.
Saint Peter and Saint Paul Day (Chile) FAQs
Does each saint have a feast day?
The Christian calendar organizes the liturgical year by assigning each day to one or more saints. These are feast days in honor of a saint or saints.
Why is the Vatican closed on June 29?
The Vatican closes every year on June 29 since it is the feast day of St. Peter and St. Paul.
Why is St. Paul so important?
St. Paul’s letters influenced Christian theology significantly. His writings determined core concepts such as the relationship between Jesus and God.
How to Observe Saint Peter and Saint Paul Day (Chile)
Pray for your loved ones
Chileans attend a special mass to honor the two saints. Follow in their footsteps or find some time for quiet reflection today. Reflect on the values that saints upheld, such as humility, charity, and patience.
Help the less fortunate
Donate money, food, or time to a cause close to your heart. It’s a great way to honor St. Peter and St. Paul, who preached the importance of serving the community.
Learn more about Christianity
Catch up on some reading. Read the “Bible” for solace. On another hand, you can seek out historical accounts about the fascinating history of Christianity.
5 Facts About Chile That Will Blow Your Mind
Home to the world’s largest swimming pool
The pool at San Alfonso del Mar Resort holds 60 million gallons of water and is as long as 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Chile may have inspired Shakespeare’s writing
The character Caliban in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” was inspired by explorer accounts of tribes in Chile’s Tierra del Fuego region.
They conduct alien research
Chile is one of the only countries with an official government department dedicated to U.F.O. research.
There is a Little Chile in Antarctica
Villa Las Estrellas is one of two permanent civilian bases in Antarctica, complete with a hospital, a school, a post office, and a souvenir store.
The world’s oldest mummies were found here
The Chinchorro mummies discovered in the Camarones Valley are from around 5050 B.C., long before mummification was practiced in Egypt.
Why Saint Peter and Saint Paul Day (Chile) is Important
It offers perspective
This day reminds us of the fraught history of religious institutions. It is a day to honor the lives and legacies of figures who made it possible.
It is a reminder to be grateful
It’s a good day to count our blessings. Whether you prefer attending mass or sitting in quiet contemplation, take a moment to pause today. It is also a reminder to share your blessings with the people around you.
It celebrates courage and faith
St. Peter and St. Paul stayed true to their beliefs, even giving up their lives to defend their faith. We could all take a leaf out of their book.
Saint Peter and Saint Paul Day (Chile) dates