Feast of Ss. Peter & Paul

Laudetur Iesus Christus and blessed feast of Ss. Peter & Paul! This is an important feast day commemorating the first Pope, and the apostle to the Gentiles. St. Ann will offer a 6pm Latin Mass this evening. Additionally we share an article in the New Liturgical Movement about yesterday’s vigil of Ss. Peter & Paul, which prepares us for today’s feast day: https://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2022/06/the-vigil-of-ss-peter-and-paul.html#.YrvcY4TMKHs

Upcoming Latin Masses

  • Wednesday June 29 – Feast of Ss. Peter & Paul, 6pm Latin Mass, St. Ann: Commemorates the day of their of martyrdom by Nero, June 29 67 A.D.
  • Thursday June 30 – Commemoration of St. Paul, 7pm Latin Mass, St. Thomas Aquinas. This is St. Paul own feast day commemorating his martyrdom.
  • Friday July 1 – Feast of the Precious Blood, 7am (St. Ann), 12:30pm (St. Mark): This is a feast that is unique to the Traditional Latin Mass, and was eliminated in the Novus Ordo Mass (or combined with the feast of Corpus Christi). Providentially this year, the Precious Blood feast falls on the ancient octave day of the feast of the Sacred Heart. You can pray the litany to the Precious Blood here: https://www.fisheaters.com/litanypreciousblood.html
  • Saturday July 2 – Feast of the Visitation & first Saturday, 10am (St. Thomas Aquinas): This feast falls on the ancient octave day of St. John the Baptist, finishing off the eight-day celebration of his nativity, the day when he would be circumcised (and given his name John) by focusing on the visitation of the Blessed Mother, and the moment he was cleansed of original sin (Luke 1:41). It is also first Saturday and Father will bless religious items after the 10am Latin Mass.  (Note: There will also be a 9am Latin Mass at Prince of Peace parish in Taylors, SC – 2 hours southwest of Charlotte)
  • Sunday July 3: The Salisbury Latin Mass Community will host its 1st Sunday Latin Mass at 4pm at Sacred Heart parish in Salisbury. For more information visit: http://salisburylmc.org/

Martyrdom of St. Paul (June 30)

We share Dom Prosper Gueranger’s reflection on St. Paul’s feast day for this Thursday June 30 (which is different from his conversation on January 25)

On the Twenty-ninth of June, in the year 67, while Peter, having crossed the Tiber by the Triumphal bridge, was drawing nigh to the cross prepared for him on the Vatican plain, another martyrdom was being consummated on the left bank of the same river. Paul, as he was led along the Ostian Way, was also followed by a group of the Faithful who mingled with the escort of the condemned. His sentence was that he should be beheaded at the Salvian Waters. A two miles’ march brought the soldiers to a path leading eastwards, by which they led their prisoner to the place fixed upon for the martyrdom of this, the Doctor of the Gentiles. Paul fell on his knees, addressing his last prayer to God; then having bandaged his eyes, he awaited the death-stroke. A soldier brandished his sword, and the Apostle’s head, as it was severed from the trunk, made three bounds along the ground; three fountains immediately sprang up on these several spots. Such is the local tradition; and to this day, three fountains are to be seen on the site of his martyrdom, over each of which an altar is raised.

Martyrdom of St. Peter (June 29)

We conclude this update with a commentary by Dom Prosper Gueranger, on the bigger of the two feasts, and the focus on St. Peter’s confrontation with his nemesis, the anti-Pope, Simon the Magician, who first appeared in Acts 8:9-24, and reappears in Rome around 67 AD. St. Peter confronted and defeated this false vicar of Christ, actions which ultimately led to St. Peter’s glorious martyrdom. Gueranger notes this confrontation is reminder that “false brethren” have been present in the Church since its earliest days:

But before quitting earth, Peter must triumph over Simon the Magician, his base antagonist. This heresiarch did not content himself with seducing soul by his perverse doctrines; he sought even to mimic Peter in the prodigies operated by him. So he proclaimed that on a certain day, he would fly in the air. The report of this novelty quickly spread through Rome, and the people were full of the prospect of such a marvellous sight. If we are to believe Dion Chrysostom, Nero seems even to have entertained at his court this wonderful personage, who pledged himself to soar aloft in mid-air. More than that, the emperor would even with his own presence honor this rare sight. The imperial lodge was reared upon the Via Sacra, where the scene was to be enacted. But cruel for the impostor did this deception prove. “Scarce had this Icarus begun to poise his flight,” says Suetonius, “than he fell close to Nero’s lodge which was bathed in his blood.” The gravest writers of Christian antiquity are unanimous in attributing to the prayer of Peter this humiliation inflicted on the Samaritan juggler in the very midst of Rome, where he had dared to set himself up as the rival of Christ’s Vicar.

The disgrace, as well as the blood of the heresiarch, had fallen on the emperor himself. Curiosity and ill-will but needed, therefore, to be combined, in order to attract personally upon Peter an attention that might prove disastrous. Moreover, be it remembered, there was yet another danger, and to this Saint Paul alludes, namely, the peril of false brethren. To understand this term and justly to appreciate the situation, we must bear in mind how inevitable are the clashings of certain characters in a society so numerous as was already that of the Christians in Rome; and how discontent is necessarily caused to vulgar minds when existing circumstances sometimes demand higher interests to be exclusively consulted, in the always difficult question of choosing persons to offices of trust, or to special confidence.

The filial devotedness of the Christians of Rome took alarm, and they implored Saint Peter to elude the danger for a while, by instant flight. “Although he would have much preferred to suffer,” says Saint Ambrose, Peter set out along the Appian Way. Just as he reached the Capuan gate, Christ suddenly presented himself, seemingly about to enter the city. “Lord, whither goest thou?” cried out the Apostle. “To Rome,” Christ replied, “to be there crucified again.” The disciple understood his Master; he at once retraced his steps, having now no thought but to await his hour of martyrdom.