June 26, 2016 -
"PILLARS OF THE EARLY CHURCH"
The two most prominent figures in the history of the Christian religion during the first decades were the Apostles Peter and Paul. The Church has always honored them together, their special feast day a highlight of the summer.
It is the Acts of the Apostles, that wonderful book of the Bible that paints a graphic picture of life in the earliest Church that tells the story of these defenders of the Faith. The first 9 chapters tell of Peter and Jerusalem, the center of the Church. The next chapters focus on Paul and the City of Antioch, which became a prominent place. Indeed, Peter founded the Church there and became its first Bishop.
St. Peter is usually depicted as the leader among our Lord’s twelve apostles. He is the one who preached a powerful sermon on Pentecost Day, resulting in thousands embracing faith in Christ. His confession of the Lord as “the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” is the doctrine that forms the foundation of Christianity.
St. Paul is the great missionary of the earliest Church. Following his amazing conversion from a persecutor to an apostle. Paul spent his years travelling throughout the then known world, establishing parishes and preaching the Gospel. He wrote many epistles – letters to the churches he was imprisoned, he was shipwrecked, he was beaten and starved and starved and suffered greatly for his Master.
The two great pillars of the Church are said to have been martyred in the year 67. During their ministries, they fueled the fires of our early Christian Faith.