Feast Day of the Holy Apostle Peter

The Holy Apostle Peter

In icons the Apostle Peter is usual depicted with short, curly hair and a beard, identifying him as the fiery and impulsive leader of the Twelve.

Feast Day: June 29

Peter’s name was originally Simon. Born in Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee (John 1:42, 44), he was the son of Jonah (John) and the older brother of Andrew, the First-Called.

Like his father, Jonah, Simon was a fisherman by trade. Most likely, marriage brought him to Capernaum just west of Bethsaida, where he lived in the house of his mother-in-law. Jesus lived at Peter’s house during the time of His public ministry and it was often the site of many miracles.

When Jesus called Simon to follow Him, He changed Simon’s name to Kephas, an Aramaic word meaning “rock.” In translation, the name is Petros (Greek), Petro (Ukrainian) and Peter (English).

When Jesus asked His apostles who they thought He was, Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:16). Jesus then said to him, “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build by church, and the powers of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Mt 16:18). He added: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt 16:19). Jesus chose Simon-Peter to be the leader among the apostles, the “first among equals.”

In his work as an apostle and missionary, Peter first preached in Judea and help found Jewish-Christian communities there. He then went on to establish the Gentile-Christian Church of Antioch, presiding as its founding bishop for seven years. After appointing a successor, he moved on to preach in various communities in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia Minor and Bithynia. His missionary activity ended in Rome, were he became the first bishop of the church established there, holding this office for 25 years.

Peter was condemned to death by order of the Emperor Nero. After choosing Linus to be his successor and installing him as the new Bishop of Rome, Peter encouraged his flock and went with joy to a martyr’s death. When he saw the cross before him, he requested to be crucified head downwards, because he felt unworthy to die the same way as the Lord. And this great servant and apostle of Christ went to his rest, receiving an eternal crown of glory in the kingdom of heaven.

Two of his letters have been included in the canon of the New Testament. He is also regarded as the primary source for the Gospel of Mark, for Mark was his disciple, interpreter and scribe.

Also celebrating:
The Feast Day of the Holy Apostle Paul

Feast day of the Holy Apostle Paul

The Holy Apostle Paul

The Apostle Paul is depicted with a beard, brown hair, balding with a high forehead, signifying his great wisdom, learning and understanding.

Feast Day: June 29

Paul, originally known as Saul before his conversion, was a tent-maker from Tarsus and a fanatical opponent of Christians. He was present at the stoning of St. Stephen and was involved in the arrest of many Jewish-Christians, bringing them to trial.

While breathing threats against the disciples of Jesus on the road to Damascus, the risen Lord appeared to him in a vision and Saul was converted. After the vision, he was left totally blind and humbled by the Lord. To reach Damascus, he needed to be led by the hand. For three days, he neither ate nor drank. On the third day, he was healed of his blindness and baptized by the disciple Ananias, changing his name to Paul or Paulus in Latin, meaning “small” or “humble.”

Tirelessly, St. Paul preached his new faith in Christ Jesus, writing letter after letter to the churches he founded in Asia Minor (Turkey). He conducted missions to both Jews and Gentiles. Flogged, imprisoned, starving, stoned, shipwrecked and on trial, he never lost his faith. The supreme gift he preached was love. “If I speak in tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging symbol… If I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing” (1 Cor 13:1-3). He wrote, “Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful … Love never ends” (1 Cor 13:4-8).

Tradition also has it that St. Paul was martyred in Rome. As a Roman citizen condemned to death, he had the right to be beheaded with a sword and not be crucified.

His fourteen letters are a precious legacy; they afford a deep insight not only into a great soul, but also into the great mysteries of the Christian Faith.

Also celebrating:
The Feast Day of the Holy Apostle Peter

Saints Peter and Paul

Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul

Monday, June 29th.

  • Great Vespers and Lytia –
    Sunday evening, June 28th, at 6pm.

On Monday, June 29th:

  • Great Matins at 8:00 am;
  • Divine Liturgy (Eng) at 9:30 am;
  • Divine Liturgy (Ukr) at 11 am; and
  • Divine Liturgy (Bilingual) at 6:00 pm.

 The Apostles’ Fast ends on the eve of this feast.

More on the Holy Apostle:

St. PeterThe Holy Apostle Peter

St. Paul The Holy Apostle Paul