Saint Peter and Saint Paul Day is observed every year on June 29. The event is the liturgical feast day that honors two martyrs of the Christian faith, St. Peter and St. Paul. Although the church acknowledges they may not have been executed at the same time, both met death at the command of the Roman emperor — Nero. The date chosen is the traditional anniversary of their death and martyrdom. The event is a significant religious occasion in Rome, and the catholic church in England commemorates it with a festival. Parishes around the world hold masses to commemorate the day.
History of Saint Peter and Saint Paul Day
Saint Peter and Saint Paul Day are likely one of the oldest feast days celebrated in the Christian calendar. Paintings of Peter and Paul were discovered on the wall of catacombs in 2010. The images on the walls date back to the fourth century A.D. The holiday is dedicated to two saints in the Christian belief. Peter was the head of the apostles and the first pope. Paul, formerly called Saul, was a persecutor of the Christian faith but converted to Christianity on the road to Damascus.
.Emperor Nero ordered the martyrdom of St Peter and St Paul. This event was thought to have occurred between 64 and 68 A.D. St Peter was crucified head down because he did not believe he was worthy of being crucified alongside Jesus. The cause of Paul’s death was unknown, but it was widely assumed that he was decapitated in Rome.
In Rome, Ticino, Switzerland, and Malta, Saint Peter and Saint Paul Day is a public holiday. The Latin Church, England, Scotland, and Wales observe it as a holy day of obligation, while the United States and Canada do not.
In 2021 the pandemic led to the cancellation of Saint Peter and Saint Paul Day public celebrations. Catholics were advised to celebrate at home while adhering to covid restrictions.
On June 29, Christians in coastal and island communities adorn their boats and docks to honor St. Peter, who was the patron saint of fishermen.
Saint Peter and Saint Paul Day timeline
A Christian artist depicts the celebration of the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul on the walls of a catacomb.
St. Peter and St. Paul die for embracing the Christian faith.
Archaeologists discover a painting portraying the holiday of St. Peter and Paul's day on the walls of a catacomb.
The Covid19 pandemic halts the celebration of the liturgical feast in Rome.
Saint Peter and Saint Paul Day FAQs
Did Peter start the Catholic Church?
In a tradition of the early Church, Peter is said to have founded the Church in Rome with Paul, served as its bishop, authored two epistles, and then met martyrdom there along with Paul.
Why did St. Peter get crucified?
Peter’s execution was ordered by the Roman Emperor Nero, who blamed the Christians in the city for a terrible fire that had devastated Rome.
What is the Feast of the Chair of St Peter?
The Feast of the Chair of St. Peter is a commemoration of the contributions of the Apostle to the Christian Church.
How to Observe Saint Peter and Saint Paul Day
Partake in the special service
A special commemorative mass is held for the event in every parish. Choose one close to you and attend the sacred event.
Attend the festival
If you are in Rome, Malta, England, or any country where the feast is a Holy Day of Obligation, then there are many festivities to enjoy! However, if you can not attend any festivals, watching the celebrations online will suffice.
Meditate and pray
Praying is a good way to strengthen our relationship with God. What better day to pray, than on the day honoring two saints.
5 Interesting Facts About St. Peter And Paul
St. Peter was the first Pope
St. Peter was one of the 12 apostles, as well as the first pope and founder of the Roman Church.
St. Paul wrote 13 books
St. Paul is responsible for 13 books in the new testament.
Both patron saints
St. Peter and Paul are both patron saints of Rome and considered cornerstones of the church.
St. Paul never met Jesus
St. Paul is a well-known apostle who spread the gospel of Christ, but he personally never met Jesus Christ.
Seven holy days of obligation
There are seven holy days of obligation in the Catholic church, Saint Peter and Saint Paul Day included.
Why Saint Peter and Saint Paul Day is Important
Honor our saints
This event celebrates the steadfastness, loyalty, and courage of St Peter and St Paul. They died as martyrs and will always be heroic symbols to Christians worldwide.
A chance to renew devotion
The holiday gives us a chance to ponder our love and devotion to Christ. An opportunity to remain his teachings and set things right in our hearts.
Strengthens the Catholic community
The day commends every catholic to be as faithful and steadfast as the saints were in following the laws of Christ and loving one another. The catholic community continues to grow because of events like this.
Saint Peter and Saint Paul Day dates