Feast_of_Saints_Peter_and_Paul

Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, or properly the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, is a feast commemorating the martyrdom at Rome of the apostles St. Peter and Paul of Tarsus, observed on June 29. The celebration is of ancient origin, the date selected being either the anniversary of their death or of the translation of their relics.

In the Roman Catholic Church

In the Roman Catholic calendar of saints, it is celebrated as a solemnity. As such, it is one of the higher-ranking holy days during the ecclesiastical year, but is not a holy day of obligation in most countries.

This is the day of the Roman Catholic liturgical year on which those newly-created metropolitan archbishops who have been named in the previous church year receive the primary symbol of their office, the pallium, from the pope.

In Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches

For Eastern Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox Christians this feast also marks the end of the Apostles' Fast (which began on the Monday following All Saints' Sunday—i.e., the second Monday after Pentecost). It is considered a day of recommended attendance, whereon one should attend the All-Night Vigil (or at least Vespers) on the eve, and the Divine Liturgy on the morning of the feast (there are, however, no "Days of Obligation" in the Eastern Church, per se). For those who follow the traditional Julian Calendar, June 29 falls on the Gregorian Calendar date of July 12.

In the Russian Orthodox tradition, Venerable Macarius's Miracle of the Moose is said to have occurred during the Apostles' Fast and the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul that followed it.

Ecumenical importance

In recent decades, this feast along with Saint Andrew has been of importance to the modern ecumenical movement as an occasion on which the pope and the Patriarch of Constantinople have officiated at services designed to bring their two churches closer to intercommunion. This was especially the case during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II, as reflected in his encyclical Ut Unum Sint.

Significance in other denominations

Although the Doukhobors do not venerate saints per se, the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul has traditionally been a day of celebration for them. Since 1895, it acquired a new significance as commemoration of the Burning of the Arms—the Doukhobors' destruction of their weapons, as a symbol of their refusal to participate in government-sponsored killing—and is celebrated now by their descendants as the Doukhobor Peace Day.

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