Today we celebrate Saint Peter and Saint Paul, perhaps the two greatest apostles of Jesus. At first glance, you might think that these two men couldn’t be more different from each other. Peter walked with Jesus every day and was one of his most trusted and beloved friends. Paul did not even meet Jesus until after the resurrection and before that was one of the greatest persecutors of the church.
There are similarities, though. Both men denied Jesus, but were converted to him. Both offered up their life for him. And both served an essential leadership role, with Peter as the head of the church and Paul as its greatest evangelist.
I want you to know, brothers and sisters,
that the Gospel preached by me is not of human origin.
For I did not receive it from a human being, nor was I taught it,
but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
For you heard of my former way of life in Judaism,
how I persecuted the Church of God beyond measure
and tried to destroy it, and progressed in Judaism
beyond many of my contemporaries among my race,
since I was even more a zealot for my ancestral traditions.
But when God, who from my mother’s womb had set me apart
and called me through his grace,
was pleased to reveal his Son to me,
so that I might proclaim him to the Gentiles,
I did not immediately consult flesh and blood,
nor did I go up to Jerusalem
to those who were Apostles before me;
rather, I went into Arabia and then returned to Damascus.
Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem
to confer with Cephas and remained with him for fifteen days.
But I did not see any other of the Apostles,
only James the brother of the Lord.
—As to what I am writing to you, behold,
before God, I am not lying.
Peter was the first Pope, the Holy Father selected by Christ.
Saint Peter, pray for us.
Paul spread the gospel throughout the whole world.
Saint Paul, pray for us.