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|Feast of Saints Peter and Paul|
Oil on canvas by El Greco, circa 16th century
|Official name||Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul|
|Observed by||Orthodox Church|
|Next time||29 June 2019|
The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul or Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul is a liturgical feast in honour of the martyrdom in Rome of the apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul, which is observed on 29 June. The celebration is of ancient origin, the date selected being the anniversary of either their death or the translation of their relics.
For Eastern Orthodox and some Eastern Catholic Christians this feast also marks the end of the Apostles' Fast (which began on the Monday following All Saints' Sunday, i.e., the second Monday after Pentecost). It is considered a day of recommended attendance, whereon one should attend the All-Night Vigil (or at least Vespers) on the eve, and the Divine Liturgy on the morning of the feast (there are, however, no "Days of Obligation" in the Eastern Church). For those who follow the traditional Julian calendar, 29 June falls on the Gregorian calendar date of 12 July.
In the General Roman Calendar, the celebration is a solemnity. In earlier ions, it was ranked as a Double (Tridentine Calendar), Double of the First Class (e.g., General Roman Calendar of 1954), or First-Class Feast (General Roman Calendar of 1960). Prior to the liturgical reforms of Pope Pius XII, this feast was followed by a common octave.
It is a holy day of obligation in the Latin Church, although individual conferences of bishops can suppress the obligation. In England, Scotland and Wales the feast is observed as a holy day of obligation while in the United States and Canada, it is not. In Malta it is a public holiday and in Maltese known as L-Imnarja.
In recent decades, this feast, along with that of Saint Andrew, has been of importance to the modern ecumenical movement as an occasion on which the Pope and the Patriarch of Constantinople have officiated at services designed to bring their two churches closer to intercommunion. This was especially the case during the pontificate of St Pope John Paul II, as reflected in his encyclical Ut Unum Sint.
Although the Canadian Doukhobors do not venerate saints, the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul has traditionally been a day of celebration for them. Since 1895, it has acquired a new significance as a commemoration of the "Burning of the Arms", the Doukhobors' destruction of their weapons, as a symbol of their refusal to participate in government-sponsored killing. It is celebrated now by their descendants as simply "Peter's Day" (Russian: Petro den.), sometimes referred to as the "Doukhobor Peace Day".
The feast is observed in Rome because St. Paul and St. Peter are patron saints of the eternal city. It is also a public holiday of the Canton of Ticino, Switzerland, as well as parts of the Swiss cantons of Lucerne and Graubünden. It is a public holiday in Peru, in Malta, and in various municipalities of the Philippines.
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