This feast celebrates the dedications of two of the four major basilicas of Rome. Saint Peter’s Basilica was originally built in 323 by the emperor Constantine. The basilica was constructed over the tomb of Peter the Apostle, the Church’s first Pope. After standing for more than a thousand years, Pope Julius II ordered the building to be torn down due to structural concerns. The construction of the new church spanned over 200 years before its completion. It was dedicated on Nov. 18, 1626. It is considered the most famous church in Christendom.
Saint Paul´s Basilica is located outside the original walls of Rome. It was also originally built by the emperor Constantine though it was destroyed by fire in 1823. Donations from around the world made the reconstruction possible. Before the completion of Saint Peter´s Basilica, St Paul’s was the largest church in Rome. The Basilica was built over St. Paul´s grave. Pope Pius IX consecrated the Basilica in 1854.
These two churches continue to draw millions of faithful pilgrims each year as well as many visitors from other faith.
St Peter & St Paul:
O Holy St Peter and Paul, upon you, Almighty God has built His Church. Obtain for me I pray you: lively faith, firm hope, burning love and perseverance in the grace of God even unto death.
Glory be to the…
Holy martyrs Peter and Paul, your tombs are the sacred destinations of many pilgrimages to the eternal city. May all visits to the Basilicas dedicated to your honor deepen one’s love and commitment to Mother Church.
O Holy St Peter and Paul, upon you, Almighty God has built His Church. Obtain for us, we pray, lively faith, firm hope, burning love and perseverance in the grace of God unto death. Amen
PRAYER ON THE MEMORIAL OF THE DEDICATION OF THE CHURCHES OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL
give your Church the protection of the apostles.
From them it first received the faith of Christ.
May they help your Church to grow in your grace
until the end of time.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
May your people, we pray, O Lord,
nourished by the Bread of heaven,
rejoice in commemorating the Apostles Peter and Paul,
for it is through your gift
that we are governed under their patronage.
Through Christ our Lord.