Today is the Octave Day of the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul. On June 29 A.D. 67, St. Peter was crucified, head downward, by order of Nero, on a hill overlooking the Vatican. On the same day, St. Paul was beheaded outside one of the gates of Rome. The Romans celebrated this feast with splendour equal to, if not surpassing, that of Easter. The Collect reflects the concept of the two apostles indissolubly united in a single prayer. It is just because of this ancient feeling which is common not only to the Romans, but to all the Fathers, that the two Founders of the Roman Church can never be divided. Tradition has preserved the memory of the places in which St. Peter and St. Paul dwelt. It is certain the chair of St. Peter and the chains of St. Paul were carefully guarded. The Vatican Basilica is erected over the burial place of St. Peter: the Ostian Basilica, St. Paul’s-Outside-the-Walls, honours the Apostle of the Gentiles.
INTROIT Ecclus. 44:15; 44:14
At gatherings the wisdom of the Saints is retold, and the assembly sings their praises; their name lives on and on. Ps 32:1 Exult, you just, in the Lord; praise from the upright is fitting. v. Glory be…etc
O God, whose right hand upheld blessed Peter, lest he should sink when walking on the waters, and did deliver blessed Paul, when shipwrecked for the third time, from the depth of the sea, hear us in thy mercy, and grant that, through the merits of both we may obtain the glory of the eternal life. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
EPISTLE Sir 44:10-15
Lesson from the book of Ecclesiasticus. But these were men of mercy, whose godly deeds have not failed: Good things continue with their seed, Their posterity are a holy inheritance, and their seed hath stood in the covenants. And their children for their sakes remain for ever: their seed and their glory shall not be forsaken. Their bodies are buried in peace, and their name liveth unto generation and generation. Let the people shew forth their wisdom, and the church declare their praise.
GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Wis 3:1-2; 3:3
But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment of death shall not touch them. V. In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure was taken for misery: And their going away from us, for utter destruction: but they are in peace. Allelúja, allelúja Luke 22:28-29; 22:30 And you are they who have continued with me in my temptations: And I dispose to you, as my Father hath disposed to me, a kingdom; That you may eat and drink at my table, in my kingdom: and may sit upon thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Allelúja.
GOSPEL Matthew 14:22-33
And forthwith Jesus obliged his disciples to go up into the boat, and to go before him over the water, till he dismissed the people. And having dismissed the multitude, he went into a mountain alone to pray. And when it was evening, he was there alone. But the boat in the midst of the sea was tossed with the waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night, he came to them walking upon the sea. And they seeing him walk upon the sea, were troubled, saying: It is an apparition. And they cried out for fear. And immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying: Be of good heart: it is I, fear ye not. And Peter making answer, said: Lord, if it be thou, bid me come to thee upon the waters. And he said: Come. And Peter going down out of the boat, walked upon the water to come to Jesus. But seeing the wind strong, he was afraid: and when he began to sink, he cried out, saying: Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretching forth his hand took hold of him, and said to him: O thou of little faith, why didst thou doubt? And when they were come up into the boat, the wind ceased. And they that were in the boat came and adored him, saying: Indeed thou art the Son of God.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 149:5-6
The saints shall rejoice in glory: they shall be joyful in their beds. The high praise of God shall be in their mouth.
We offer thee, O Lord, our prayers and gifts, and that they may be found worthy in thy sight, let us be aided by the prayers of thy Apostels, Peter and Paul. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever.
PREFACE of the Apostles
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, to entreat Thee humbly, O Lord, that Thou wouldst not desert Thy flock, O everlasting Shepherd; but, through Thy blessed apostles, wouldst keep it under Thy constant protection; that it may be governed by those same rulers, whom as vicars of Thy work, Thou didst set over it to be its pastors. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dóminations and with all the hosts of the Heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying:
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Wis 3:1; 3:2; 3:3
But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment of death shall not touch them. In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: but they are in peace.
Protect thy people O Lord, who trust in the intercession of thine Apostles, Peter and Paul, and evermore defend and keep them. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, For ever and ever.