Christ laid the foundation for the Church, establishing it as His bride and instructing His followers to spread the Good News throughout the world. After His Ascension into heaven, the apostles took on the heavy task of carrying out His Great Commission to baptize and make disciples of all nations.
Perhaps the two men best known for their work in this area are Sts. Peter and Paul. As apostles, martyrs, and pillars of the Catholic Church, they share a feast day and today are both patron saints of Rome.
Both Peter and Paul were chosen by Christ to do the work of growing His Church. Peter was appointed as the rock on which the Church would be built, and was the first pope. He faltered and failed at times, but guided the Church in her infancy and ensured unity among the Apostles.
Peter worked to establish the Catholic Church in Rome, where he was eventually martyred for his bold proclamation of Christ. Upon his request, he was crucified upside-down, not feeling worthy to die in the same manner as the Son of God. St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City is built above the place where he is buried.
Paul never knew Christ during His time on earth. In fact, Paul was an educated Jewish Pharisee who persecuted Christians, even consenting to the martyrdom of St. Stephen. Paul encountered Christ on the way to Damascus, where he experienced a remarkable conversion and was baptized in the Christian faith.
While the rest of the apostles had originally focused their evangelization efforts on the Jewish people, Paul was an Apostle to the Gentiles, spreading the Good News of Christ to non-Jews throughout the Roman Empire. He travelled over 10,000 miles by foot at the service of Christ and His Church, establishing the Church in cities across the Mediterranean world.
He eventually returned to Rome, where he was beheaded for the faith and was buried just outside the city where the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls stands today.
Through different paths, these two remarkable men gave their lives to nurture the Church in the very first years of Her existence. You can help continue to spread the Good News by supporting Relevant Radio in our work of evangelization.
Today only: when you make a gift of $365 to Relevant Radio, you will receive a medal of Sts. Peter and Paul which travelled to many holy sites in Rome with Ashley Noronha, our Relevant Radio Rome Correspondent. You’ll also receive the book Because of Our Fathers, featuring the stories of Catholics whose fathers were exemplary models of faith and virtue.
These medals were brought to the tomb and chains of St. Paul at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, St. Mary Major Basilica, St. Peter’s Basilica and the tomb of St. Peter as well as the tomb of St. John Paul II, St. John Lateran Cathedral, and the Holy Stairs that Christ ascended to meet Pontius Pilate.
Only a limited number of these medals are available, so don’t delay in making your dollar-a-day gift!