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Peter and Paul Commemorated by Christians in Israel, around the World

The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul is celebrated by Catholics, Orthodox and a few other Christian denominations on June 29, marking the martyrdoms of the two great apostles of Christendom.


In Israel, at least three churches are dedicated to Peter, the disciple who declared to Jesus, “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.” Solemn masses will take place on Wednesday at all three of these churches in JaffaTagbha and Tiberias. The churches will hold a solemn mass and ordinations on this day. Another church named for Peter is St. Peter Gallicantu in Jerusalem.


“It is a big feast for the church,” Father Athanasius Macora told Travelujah. “Peter and Paul were considered to be the great apostles. Of all the apostles, these two stand out for various reasons.”


Peter, a Galilean, was a fisherman by trade. He was one of the few apostles who witnessed the Transfiguration of Jesus. Peter was the most outspoken of Jesus’ 12 disciples and is mentioned in the gospels more than the others. His boldness led to the salvation of 3,000 people on the day of Pentecost as he preached his first public message. Peter became a natural leader of the early church.


Paul was a Pharisee of the highest order who persecuted the first believers. His dramatic conversion took place as he was heading toward Damascus. His salvation turned him from persecutor to missionary plus he became the most prolific writer of the New Testament, setting church doctrine. His ministry was mainly to the gentiles. He was born in Tarsus, located in present-day eastern Turkey. He was a tentmaker by profession and was a Roman citizen.


While Paul’s missionary journeys took him around the Middle East, Europe and Asia Minor, Peter’s ministry was concentrated in Israel. Accordingly, several sites in Israel are dedicated to Peter including the three churches and Capernaum, his home town .


Both Peter and Paul were believed to be martyred on the same day.


By Nicole Jansezian, Travelujah


Nicole Jansezian writes for Travelujah, the leading Christian social network focused on connecting Christians to the Holy Land. People can learn, plan and share their Holy Land tour and travel experiences on Travelujah.



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