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Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

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Saints Peter and Paul

The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, or the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, is a liturgical feast in honour of the martyrdom in Rome of the apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul, which is observed on 29 June. The celebration is of ancient origin, the date selected being either the anniversary of their death or of the translation of their relics.[1]

In the Roman Catholic Church

In the Roman Catholic calendar of saints, it is celebrated as a solemnity. In the General Roman Calendar of 1962, it is a first-class feast.

In England and Wales it is celebrated as a holy day of obligation.

This is the day of the liturgical year on which those newly created metropolitan archbishops receive the primary symbol of their office, the pallium, from the pope.

In Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches

For Eastern Catholics and 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). For those who follow the traditional Julian Calendar, 29 June falls on the Gregorian Calendar date of 12 July.

In the Russian Orthodox tradition, Macarius of Unzha'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 that of 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.

Among Doukhobors

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 has acquired a new significance as a 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. It is celebrated now by their descendants as the Doukhobor Peace Day.[2]


  1. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XI (Robert Appleton Company, New York, 1911), s.v., "St. Paul", accessed 2007-06-04.
  2. Koozma J. Tarasoff, The Doukhobor Peace Day

External links

sv:Petri och Pauli dag

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