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Christophers: Peter & Paul Model Path to Redemption

By Tony Rossi,

Director of Communications


On June 29th, we will celebrate the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, which honors the twin founders of the See of Rome for their courage in proclaim ing the faith, even unto martyrdom. Saint Augustine once said, “Both apostles share the same feast day, for these two were one; and even though they suffered on different days, they were as one. Peter went first, and Paul followed. And so we celebrate this day made holy for us by the apostles’ blood. Let us embrace what they believed, their life, their labors, their sufferings, their preaching, and their confession of faith.”

For centuries in Rome, the pope has presided over a Mass on this feast in which new archbishops are presented with a pallium, and celebrations abound throughout the city. Flowers adorn Saint Peter’s Square and are laid in a trail along the Via Della Conciliazione all the way to the Tiber River. In the evening, the Piazza del Popolo is the staging area for a beautiful fireworks display.

It is fitting that we honor these two saints with such festivities to bring attention to their heroic virtues in life and to the offerings they both made to Christ and His Church in their respective martyrdoms. Central to our celebrations must invariably be our recognition of all Christ did for them because that is at the heart of their stories, revealing a truth that echoes through the centuries of the hope for redemption held out for us all.

Peter was the first to recognize the divinity of Christ and was named the “Rock” upon which He would build His Church. Yet Peter had his weaknesses, as seen in his loss of faith when Christ invited him to walk on water. He was even guilty of disloyalty when he denied Christ three times during the time of His Passion.

As for Paul, he went beyond the mere human flaws exhibited by Peter and was consumed by a murderous hatred for Christians before Christ appeared to him and called him to repent and follow the way of salvation.

Given their significance to the early Church, it’s easy to forget Peter and Paul’s failings, but it’s only in juxtaposing those failings with all they accomplished that we can see God’s glory at work in their lives. It’s a realization that helps us see how God can work in our lives to bring about great things.

In 2 Corinthians, Paul tells of a moment in which he sought relief from his suffering, and Christ said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Interpreting the meaning of this, Paul then writes, “I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

These words demonstrate the wisdom at the heart of the Christian message that allowed both Peter and Paul to move beyond their personal failings to rest in Christ, who in turn strengthened them to proclaim the Gospel and share the message of God’s mercy with a world in need.

So, let’s invoke the intercession of these great saints to raise us all up as a new generation of fervent believers, humble enough to surrender every bit of ourselves to God, even our weaknesses, in order to be transformed and inspire others to the path of salvation.


For free copies of the Christopher News Note LET GO, LET GOD IN YOUR LIFE, write: The Christophers, 264 West 40th Street, Room 603, New York, NY 10018; or e-mail:

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