29 June is the day set apart in the Catholic world for the celebration of the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. Apart from Mary, the mother of Jesus, St Joseph and St John the Baptist, these are the only human figures commemorated in the calendar of the universal Church with a day given the rank of ‘Solemnity’.
Like all saints, Peter and Paul did not come with sanctity ready-made from heaven. We respect them because in them the grace of God achieved its purpose. Such grace works in different ways. Sometimes God’s grace, like the prophet Jeremiah, has to ‘destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant’ (Jeremiah 1:10). Paul and Peter offer us instances of each of these dynamics.