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June 29

Saint of the day:
Saint Peter

Saint Paul
(the Vatican is closed on this day)

Saints Peter and Paul’s Story

Peter (d. 64?). Saint Mark ends the first half of his Gospel with a triumphant climax. He has recorded doubt, misunderstanding, and the opposition of many to Jesus. Now Peter makes his great confession of faith: “You are the Messiah” (Mark 8:29b). It was one of the many glorious moments in Peter’s life, beginning with the day he was called from his nets along the Sea of Galilee to become a fisher of men for Jesus.

The New Testament clearly shows Peter as the leader of the apostles, chosen by Jesus to have a special relationship with him. With James and John he was privileged to witness the Transfiguration, the raising of a dead child to life, and the agony in Gethsemane. His mother-in-law was cured by Jesus. He was sent with John to prepare for the last Passover before Jesus’ death. His name is first on every list of apostles.

And to Peter only did Jesus say, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:17b-19).

But the Gospels prove their own trustworthiness by the unflattering details they include about Peter. He clearly had no public relations person. It is a great comfort for ordinary mortals to know that Peter also has his human weakness, even in the presence of Jesus.

He generously gave up all things, yet he can ask in childish self-regard, “What are we going to get for all this?” (see Matthew 19:27). He receives the full force of Christ’s anger when he objects to the idea of a suffering Messiah: “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do” (Matthew 16:23b).

Peter is willing to accept Jesus’ doctrine of forgiveness, but suggests a limit of seven times. He walks on the water in faith, but sinks in doubt. He refuses to let Jesus wash his feet, then wants his whole body cleansed. He swears at the Last Supper that he will never deny Jesus, and then swears to a servant maid that he has never known the man. He loyally resists the first attempt to arrest Jesus by cutting off Malchus’ ear, but in the end he runs away with the others. In the depth of his sorrow, Jesus looks on him and forgives him, and he goes out and sheds bitter tears. The Risen Jesus told Peter to feed his lambs and his sheep (John 21:15-17).

Paul (d. 64?). If the most well-known preacher today suddenly began preaching that the United States should adopt Marxism and not rely on the Constitution, the angry reaction would help us understand Paul’s life when he started preaching that Christ alone can save us. He had been the most pharisaic of Pharisees, the most legalistic of Mosaic lawyers. Now he suddenly appears to other Jews as a heretical welcomer of Gentiles, a traitor and apostate.

Paul’s central conviction was simple and absolute: Only God can save humanity. No human effort—even the most scrupulous observance of law—can create a human good which we can bring to God as reparation for sin and payment for grace. To be saved from itself, from sin, from the devil, and from death, humanity must open itself completely to the saving power of Jesus.

Paul never lost his love for his Jewish family, though he carried on a lifelong debate with them about the uselessness of the Law without Christ. He reminded the Gentiles that they were grafted on the parent stock of the Jews, who were still God’s chosen people, the children of the promise.




Chair of Saint Peter

Throne of Saint Peter
& the Tomb of Saint Peter

Is a relic conserved in St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the sovereign enclave of the Pope inside Rome, Italy. The relic is a wooden throne that tradition claims the Apostle Saint Peter, the leader of the Early Christians in Rome and first Pope, used as Bishop of Rome. The relic is enclosed in a sculpted gilt bronze casing designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and executed between 1647 and 1653. In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI described the chair as "a symbol of the special mission of Peter and his Successors to tend Christ’s flock, keeping it united in faith and in charity."

The wooden throne was a gift from Holy Roman Emperor Charles the Bald to Pope John VIII in 875. It has been studied many times over the years, the last being from 1968 to 1974, when it was last removed from the Bernini altar. That study concluded that it was not a double, but rather a single, chair with a covering and that no part of the chair dated earlier than the sixth century.

The Chair is the cathedra of St. Peter's Basilica. Cathedra is Latin for "chair" or "throne", and denominates the chair or seat of a bishop, hence "cathedral" denominates the Bishop's church in an "episcopal see" or Diocese. The Popes formerly used the Chair. It is distinct from the Papal Cathedra in St. John Lateran Archbasilica, also in Rome, which is the actual cathedral church of the Pope.



Rub Saint Peter's toe for luck!



Saint Peter
St Peter’s Basilica

Rome, Italy

*Tradition holds that St Peter was crucified upside down in the middle of Nero’s Circus. The Altar of The Crucifixion located in the left transept of St Peter’s Basilica is very close to the actual site where this crucifixion took place.

*The bones of St Peter are in the confessio below the Papal Altar and his jawbone can be seen on the Scavi tour.

*Tradition holds that within the large bronze chair located above the Altar of the Chair in the apse of the church is a second smaller chair made out of wood.  This second chair is said to consist of fragments from the original Episcopal chair that St Peter once sat in.

Basilica of St John Lateran

Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano 4

Rome, Italy

*Positioned above the Papal Altar of this church are two busts of St Peter and St Paul. According to tradition the skulls or parts of the skulls of St Peter and St Paul are within these busts. Also located within the Papal Altar is a wooden table that St Peter and many of the earliest popes are said to have celebrated the Eucharist upon.

*Located to the left of the Papal Altar is another very ancient table. This table rests above the altar where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. It is placed directly behind a bronze relief of the Last Supper. Tradition claims that it was upon this table that Jesus and the apostles celebrated the Last Supper.


Saint Paul


Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls

Via Ostiense 186

Rome, Italy

*St Paul is buried in the confessio of this church.

Above his tomb are the chains that were used to imprison him prior to his martyrdom.

These chains were placed in this prominent location in 2008.

*Also the main altar in the left transept is dedicated to the Conversion of St Paul.

The painting above this altar, completed by Vincenzo Camuccini, depicts this event.


Basilica of St John Lateran

Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano 4

Rome, Italy

*Positioned above the Papal Altar of this church are two busts of St Peter and St Paul. According to tradition the skulls or parts of the skulls of St Peter and St Paul are within these busts. Also located within the Papal Altar is a wooden table that St Peter and many of the earliest popes are said to have celebrated the Eucharist upon.

*Located to the left of the Papal Altar is another very ancient table. This table rests above the altar where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. It is placed directly behind a bronze relief of the Last Supper. Tradition claims that it was upon this table that Jesus and the apostles celebrated the Last Supper.

*Also the tomb of Pope Leo XIII (d. 1903) is to the left of the Papal Altar.

St Paul’s Shipwreck Church

74 St Paul’s Street

1212 Valletta, Malta

*A wrist bone of St Paul rests within a reliquary in the right transept of this church.

Also to the right of the main sanctuary is part of the pillar to which St Paul was tied when he was martyred.


First miraculous catch of fish

According to the Gospel of Luke, on the day of this miracle, Jesus was preaching near the Lake of Genesareth (Sea of Galilee), when he saw two boats at the water's edge. Boarding the one belonging to Simon (Peter), and moving out a little from shore, he sat and taught the people from the boat. Afterwards, he said to Peter:

"Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch."

Peter answered:

"Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets."

When they had done so, "they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break," requiring help from another boat. When Peter saw the large catch, which filled both boats almost to sinking point, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" Jesus responded "Don't be afraid; from now on you will catch men," after which Peter and his partners James and John left everything and followed Jesus.

Second miraculous catch of fish—153 large ones

According to John 21:11

"Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of 153 large fish, but even with so many the net was not torn".

This has become known popularly as the "153 fish" miracle. Gospel of John, seven of the disciples—Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, the sons of Zebedee (James and John), and two others – decided to go fishing one evening after the Resurrection of Jesus, but caught nothing that night. Early the next morning, Jesus (whom they had not recognised) called out to them from the shore:

"Friends, haven't you any fish?"

When they reply in the negative (the question in Greek uses a particle which expects the answer "No"), Jesus responds: "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some". After doing so, "they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish".

Realising the identity of their advisor, the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" at which Peter jumped into the water to meet him (an aspect of the story often illustrated in Christian art), while the remaining disciples followed in the boat, towing the net, which proved to be full of 153 large fish.

This passage has traditionally been one of the liturgical readings following Easter, and sermons have been preached on it by Augustine of Hippo and John Chrysostom, among others.

153 fish

The precision of the number of fish as 153 has long been considered, and various writers have argued that the number 153 has some deeper significance, with many conflicting theories having been offered (see the discussion on the number 153 in the Bible). Discussing some of these theories, theologian D. A. Carson suggests that "If the Evangelist has some symbolism in mind connected with the number 153, he has hidden it well," while other scholars note "No symbolic significance for the number of 153 fish in John 21:11 has received widespread support".

References to aspects of the miracle, or to the general idea of being "fishers of men," can sometimes be recognised by uses of the number 153. For example, St Paul's School in London was founded in 1512 by John Colet to teach 153 poor men's children: although the school is now considerably larger, it still has 153 Foundation Scholars, who since the 19th century have worn a fish emblem on their watch-chains, or, more recently, in their button-holes.

In Iamblichus' Life of Pythagoras, a tale is mentioned in which Pythagoras, while journeying from Sybaris to Crotona, is said to have met some fishermen, who were drawing their net heavily laden to the shore, and he told them the exact number of fish they caught. In this reference, the exact number is not mentioned.



Lake of Genesareth (Sea of Galilee)
Bethsaida of Galilee

Sea of Galilee, also called Lake Tiberias, Arabic Buḥayrat Ṭabarīyā, Hebrew Yam Kinneret, lake in Israel through which the Jordan River flows.

It is famous for its biblical associations; its Old Testament name was Sea of Chinnereth, and later it was called the Lake of Gennesaret.

From 1948 to 1967 it was bordered immediately to the northeast by the cease-fire line with Syria.

Gospel Trail/Jesus Trail

These two hiking trails, which differ slightly, allow Christian visitors to walk nearly 40 miles in Jesus’ footsteps along the path he probably took from his childhood home in Nazareth to the future center of his ministry in Capernaum.

The Jesus Trail, completed in February 2008, is a private initiative. This route begins in Nazareth, passes through significant sites such as Cana, Arbel National Park, Tabgha and the Mount of Beatitudes, and ends some 16 miles later at Capernaum. Many pilgrims then board a wooden replica of a boat from Jesus’ time to cross the Sea of Galilee to Tiberias.

The Gospel Trail is a project of the Israel Ministry of Tourism and Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund inaugurated in November 2011. The signposted footpaths and roads also begin at Mount Precipice near Nazareth, and be can be traveled by foot, bicycle or car.



Go fishing with loved ones




Being southern I love a good fish fry with hushpuppies and cheese grits!
But cook up your fixin's how ever you like and enjoy your time with the family.


Grits A Ya Ya:



  • 4 cups chicken stock

  • 2 cups grits, such as Dixie Lily

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 4 ounces unsalted butter

  • One 14- to 16-ounce can creamed corn

  • Shredded smoked Gouda cheese

The Shrimp Ya Ya

  • 8 strips applewood smoked bacon, diced

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter


White wine

  • 1 pound peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp

  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach

  • 1/4 cup diced scallions

  • 1 portobello mushroom caps , sliced

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Hot sauce


For the grits:

  1. Run the chicken stock into a thick-bottomed saucepan and turn on high till it boils. Mix in the grits and stir like crazy.

  2. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a little cream if you need more liquid.

  3. Then, tumble in the butter, add the creamed corn, drizzle in the rest of the cream and stir until it’s all in the family.

  4. Shake in the shredded cheese and stir very well until it’s nice and smooth.

For the shrimp:

  1. While your grits cook, bring a large saucepan to medium heat.

  2. Add the bacon and cook for about 3 minutes, then add the garlic and shallots and saute.

  3. Add the butter and a splash of white wine and cook until the butter is half melted, then add the shrimp.

  4. Cook until the downsides of the shrimp become white, then flip them
    and add the spinach, scallions and mushrooms and saute for 2 minutes.

  5. Remove the shrimp. Pour in the heavy cream and let simmer, stirring, until reduced by one-third.

  6. Add salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste. Return the shrimp and stir to combine.

  7. To serve, spoon the sauce and shrimp onto heaping mounds of the cheese grits.


Saint Peter's Fish aka Mango Tilapia fish

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