We often hear of Saints Peter and Paul together, and although these two men held very different roles in the life of the Church, their collective contributions are immeasurable. Who are they and how did they influence the early Church?
Peter and Paul came to know Jesus Christ in very different ways. Peter was a fisherman called by Christ to be an apostle and to be the rock on which he builds his Church. He spends years with Jesus and learns from him. Paul, on the other hand, was persecuting the early Church until he had an experience of Christ on the road to Damascus. He is struck down and Jesus speaks to him, calling Paul to end the persecution and follow him.
Peter went on to serve the Church as the leader of the Apostles and the first pope, from whom Catholic hierarchy can trace their lineage. He performed miracles and taught the nations about Christ. He was martyred in Rome where Saint Peter’s Basilica stands today.
Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles, whose letters to the early Christian churches make up a good portion of the New Testament. He spent his life traveling throughout the Roman Empire preaching to the Gentiles and teaching them about Christ. He was also martyred in Rome, and is buried at the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls.
These two great men worked to spread the Good News and bring together the Jews and the Gentiles into the one, universal Church. “How do you bring the Jews and Gentiles together? Paul is out preaching mostly to the Gentiles and Peter is out preaching to the Jews. And how do you bring them together into one Body of Christ because the Jews consider the Gentiles to be filthy, unclean. … But now they’re being brought together into one body and Peter and Paul work together to make that happen,” explained Steve Ray, Catholic speaker and regular contributor to Relevant Radio®.
These men, even with all their faults and failings, advanced the Church and brought so many souls to Christ. It’s an inspiration to us today. “God can draw straight with crooked lines. I like that statement because God can take whoever we are, wherever we are and whatever our situation and condition and he can use us,” said Ray.
Today only—Wednesday, November 6, 2019—with a gift of $365 to the Relevant Radio Join the Family Pledge Drive, you will receive a Sts. Peter and Paul medal that travelled to the Holy Land with Patrick Madrid, as well as the book Your Life is Worth Living by Ven. Fulton Sheen. There are a limited number of these medals available, so make your dollar-a-day gift right away!