In the Roman Canon, after Joseph is mentioned, we find the Apostles. It was to the Apostles that Jesus granted full power and authority as teachers, Priests, and pastors who would continue our Lord’s mission of redemption. It was the Apostles who, as the first Bishops in the Church, took the Christian message to the furthest reaches of the known world. They established local churches, and ordained others to watch over those local churches, and to carry on the mission in those localities.
The first Apostles named are Peter and Paul, who are inseparable in the liturgy. It was to Peter that Jesus explicitly gave the Keys to the Kingdom of God. For this reason Peter is first among the Apostles. He is charged by his three-fold profession of Love for Christ to feed and tend the sheep – to be the head of the Church after Christ’s Resurrection and Ascension in to Heaven. Flowing from this primacy among Apostles and leadership of the Church Universal, Peter is the first Pope.
Following closely on the heels of St. Peter is St. Paul. St. Paul is known as “the Apostle to the Gentiles”, and he took the Christian message of salvation to all those outside of the Jewish faith. Paul, formerly named Saul, was the chief persecutor of Christians in the early days of the Church, and his conversion story is well documented in the Scriptures (Acts 9:1-31). After his healing by Ananias, Paul becomes one of the greatest proponents of the Christian Faith.
Sts. Peter and Paul, pray for us!
For the Greater Glory of God,