[first published November 18, 2015]
by David Pence
The Catholic Church on this day each year celebrates the dedication of the churches of St Peter and St Paul in Rome. St. Peter and St. Paul drank of the Lord's Chalice and were both martyred in Rome. “Those two famous shoots of the Divine Seed burst forth in a great progeny.” Their sacral brotherhood of blood served as the foundation stones of the apostolic Church.
Their tombs were pilgrimage destinations from the beginning. The basilicas were built over their sacred remains by Constantine in the 4th century, and then refurbished and rededicated in later centuries. Christianity’s priesthood is centered in Rome where the graves of the martyred blood brothers signal the early development of Christ's Body as surely as Bethlehem and Nazareth. The reclamation project of winning back territory from the Prince of this world is celebrated especially when a sacred space is carved out of the land and stone to consecrate a church.
|Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls|
|Interior of St Paul's|
|Basilica of St Peter|
|The Chair of Peter upheld by|
Saints Ambrose, Athanasius, John Chrysostom, and Augustine