Sunday, June 29, 2014

June 29: Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul


Statues of St. Peter and St. Paul
by Fritz Ahn (ca. 1889)
Photo by 
Norbert Kirchhoff

History

Saint Peter was named Simon by his parents. He and his brother, Saint Andrew, were fishermen when Jesus came up and called them to be His disciples. Peter was always very humble and full of faith in Jesus, even when he didn’t understand what Jesus was trying to teach him. Jesus gave him the name “Peter,” which means “Rock.” Peter is talked about in the Bible more than any other disciple. Even though he wasn’t perfect, Jesus loved Peter and gave him “the keys to the kingdom”, making him the first earthly leader of the Church. 

Saint Paul also had a different name when he was young: Saul. Saul was a faithful Jew who started out hating the Christians. He even persecuted them until he was on the road to Damascus and he was blinded by a bright light. He heard Jesus' voice say, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" After that, Saul became a faithful Christian and he preached Jesus' Gospel in many different places. He took the name "Paul" because it means "least" or "little. Paul faced a lot of trouble, including a shipwreck, prison and beatings, but he stayed faithful to Jesus. 

Activity

It's good to have a picture of saints hanging in our homes, so that we remember to think about their faithfulness to Christ. That helps us become more faithful to Christ, too. Today, color a picture of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Here's a simple design, and one that's a little fancier. Or, if you wish, you can make homemade pretzels like we did last year, shaping keys for Saint Peter and anchors for Saint Paul. 

Saint Peter and Saint Paul, pray for us!

More reading for parents: