The Holy Apostles Peter and Paul
The ancient Latin phrase resonates in magnificence, with a feeling of awe and power like the majestic columns of a mighty cathedral: Sanctos Apostolos Petrum et Paulum - the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.
Their origins were humble and they were slaughtered by the ruling regime almost as an afterthought, their deaths scarcely noted by the chroniclers of the day, but their work, their words, their blood, and their lives -- by the power of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ shining through them -- became the foundation of Christendom itself. Now the city that had crushed them is dominated by their monuments.
O Roma felix! Duorum Principum es consecrata sanguine!
God would raise up other great saints, and He continues to do so, but even the greatest but stand on the shoulders of these giants. There would have been no Gregory the Great or John Paul the second without Peter the Rock. There would have been no Thomas Aquinas without Saul of Tarsus.
They were human beings like us and not without flaws, but none could be mightier. They held nothing back: once they were sent forth, they laid everything on the line for Christ, every day of their lives – all their hearts, all their strength, all their talents, their freedom, and even their life's blood – everything went for Christ. They were exalted, yes, but only because they served humbly, lovingly, and forcefully.
If we’re looking for role models in our lives as we seek to make a difference in this world, we could not do better that the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, whose memory is celebrated on this day: the beginning of the Pauline year - the special commemoration of Saint Paul.
(adapted from an earlier post)