In the calendar of the Orthodox Church there are no such days that the memory of this or that saint would not fall out. But the church holidays assume their hierarchy of significance, and some of them are more important than others. First of all, it is Easter, twelve and great holidays. Among the latter is the day of July 12 - Peter and Paul, the first-order apostles. About him, as well as about these people themselves, we'll talk below.

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Day of the Holy First Apostles

The day of Peter and Paul marks the end of the first of two deeds of multi-day fasting, falling on the summer months. It is called in the people Petrovsky. The second post is Ouspensky, and he falls on August. But we are interested now in the first one, which precedes the celebration on July 12. Peter and Paul, celebrated on this day by the Orthodox Church, all believers remember. This is not surprising, because it is thanks to them, according to official church history, Christianity is as it is. And the fast that precedes this holiday is called upon to help adequately prepare for the commemoration of the memory of the two pillars of the church.

Date of holiday

In fact, the day of these apostles is celebrated on June 29. However, due to the thirteen days behind the Julian calendar in the civil Gregorian style, the day of Peter and Paul falls on July 12. In the Catholic Church, by the way, which adheres in its tradition of the Gregorian style, the celebration of these two husbands falls on the 29th of June. If to be completely honest, then so are the cases in most Orthodox autocephalous churches, which some time ago synchronized the church calendar and civil. In this sense, the Russian Orthodox Church is an exception, together with the Jerusalem, Georgian, Serbian and Polish churches. All of them, as well as the monastic republic of Athos and a number of separate parishes and monasteries around the world continue to build their liturgical life and celebrate church holidays according to the Julian calendar.

About the Apostles Peter and Paul

The Apostle Peter

Under the guise of a man whom the whole world knows as the apostle Peter, a simple Galilean peasant named Simon is hiding. Simon lived on the shore of the Tiberias Lake, also called the Sea of ​​Galilee, and earned his living by practicing fishing with his brother, now known as the Apostle Andrew the First-Called. Education Simon had no, distinguished by the fervor of temper, impulsiveness and emotionality. In his judgments he was somewhat awkward, conservative, militant, and flexible in his mind. But it was he who, as the Gospel narrates, was chosen by Jesus Christ to continue the work of his teacher on earth, when that does not happen.

The election of Simon as the head of the apostles

The Gospel describes how it happened. It all began with the fact that various rumors began to circulate about Jesus among the masses, from people's attempts to understand who he is. Some thought he was a new prophet. Others said that just a con man. Still others came to the point that they even claimed that under Jesus there lay the prophet Elijah, who many centuries ago was taken, according to biblical legends, to the sky alive, that is, with the body. And so Jesus himself decided to ask his disciples what they think about this. The apostles, answering, only retold what other people think. And only the zealous and ardent Peter on behalf of all the apostles told his teacher that he professes him as the Christ, the son of the Living God. In response, Christ promised that Simon would become the stone on which the Christian church would be built. And also, that in the hands of Simon will be given the keys from heaven and from hell, as well as the power to forgive and to leave sins and do justice. At the same time Simon, by the way, became Peter, because "Peter" in Greek means "stone". And up to that day this word was not used as a proper name. In view of all this, this apostle began to be called in the ecclesiastical tradition the primordial. And that's why the icon of Peter and Paul depicts Peter with keys in his hands. After the death of Christ, Simon led the church and the council of the apostles. But here, in its role and degree of power, Catholics and Orthodox look differently. If the Catholic Church considers this apostle and his successors on the throne (the Pope) as the real governors of Christ on earth, then in the Orthodox tradition the primitive apostle is given the role of the first among equals, and the supreme authority is appropriated to the Ecumenical Council.

The Apostle Paul

The Appeal of Paul

On the way to Damascus, as he himself writes, Saul survived a miraculous treatment. Suddenly, he and all his companions were shone with a supernatural light from the sky, and a divine voice asked him: "Saul, why are you following me?" Confused and frightened, he just asked: "Who are you, sir?" And the voice answered: Jesus, whom you are following. " Then he was told to go to the house of one of the Christians, after which he was baptized. From that moment until the moment when he was baptized, Saul was blind. After baptism, he manifested himself as a zealous preacher of the teachings of Jesus and he was called the Greek name Paul. Initially, Christians were afraid to take Paul into their ranks, because, knowing about his reputation, they thought that his conversion was just a tricky trick. And it was only in Jerusalem that Peter and the other apostles introduced him into the Christian congregation and accepted him as their own. For the rest of his life he devoted himself to apostolic, preaching work. He worked so zealously, so selflessly, that, in the end, he acquired himself, like the governor of Christ - Peter, the title of the primitive apostle. And this despite the fact that during the life of Jesus, he did not know, did not see and was not included in the list of the twelve closest disciples.

Saints Peter and Paul: The Story of the Feast

The death of Peter

The death of Paul

As for Paul, he was a Roman citizen, and therefore under the law he could be executed the only way, quick and painless – decapitation. Paul died by the sword in Rome, but when he got there and how long he stayed there, unknown. Tradition only has preserved the mention of the place on Otisco the way in which saints Peter and Paul last met and parted in the day of his death. Perhaps it does have some historical truth. Anyway, today this place houses the temple of Peter and Paul, designed to remind their tragic fate.

Exposing the legend

Despite all the beauty of the above legend, we must state that it is largely invented by the people. Peter and Paul died on different days, and celebrating their alleged total demise on June 29 (July 12) is associated with a very different event. Namely, on that day, in 258, the solemn transfer of the remains of these apostles took place. In church life, such events are also solemn and then enter the calendar as holidays. But in this case, the independent value of the feast of the transfer of relics was eclipsed by the legend of their alleged total death, and over time, the conviction was established in the minds of the masses that a martyr's death, which the apostles Peter and Paul received in Rome, was celebrated on June 29. And in memory of this practically in every Christian city there is a church of Peter and Paul. Russia in this sense is no exception. Below we list the most famous Peter and Paul churches in Russia.

Temples of Peter and Paul in Russia

First, you need to remember the Peter and Paul Cathedral, located in Peterhof. This is a huge, very beautiful temple, built in 1894-1905. Also worthy of mention is the Peter and Paul Church in Kazan, which begins its history with a wooden church built in 1565. Perestroika in stone was carried out with the direct participation of the Emperor Peter the Great in the 1720s. The last of the temples, which we note, is the cathedral of Peter and Paul in the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg. The building is also connected with the town-planning company of the emperor, but was completed after his death.

Veneration of the Apostles

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