St. Peter and St. Paul are the patron saints of Rome. The Feast of St. Peter and Paul, celebrated on June 29 every year is a big event in Italy and especially in Rome. More commonly known as La Festa di San Pietro e Paolo in Italy, the day is a public holiday in Rome. Various religious rituals and events are a part of this annual celebration in Rome.
St. Peter and St. Paul
One of Jesus’ 12 apostles, St. Peter is considered to be the first pope of the Catholic Church. He spent most of his life preaching about Christianity during the life of and after the death of Jesus.
St. Paul also lived around the same time as that of St. Peter. Born as Saul of Tarsus, he converted to Christianity and went on to become an influential leader of the Roman Catholic Church.
Both St. Peter and St. Paul were crucified around the year 67 CE when Rome suffered under the regime of Emperor Nero.
The Church Celebration
St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican marks the day with religious celebration. The Church, led by the Pope, observes this day with solemnity. There is a simple ceremony presided over by the Pope.
He places the pallium or a type of wooden cloak on the archbishops appointed over the past year. By tradition, the Pope reminds the bishops the significance of their religious work.
The day also serves as a reminder of the unity of the Church.
The Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul in Rome
The eternal city has always been one to show the path of religious piety. Citizens and visitors to the city observe the day with both solemnity and celebrations. Rome observes a public holiday on this day. So, most businesses and public offices remain closed.
A visit to the church, followed by gatherings of religious groups is the usual norm. Over the last few years, other events too have been added to celebrate this day in a big way. You will find music shows, fireworks and fairs that attract people to spend the day.
Although this day is observed in many parts of the world, you must be in Italy to see for yourself just how the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul is celebrated. After all, there is nothing to compare the charm of the eternal city, Rome and its celebrations!