Posts Tagged ‘Catholic Church’

Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

Saint Peter and Saint Paul

Saint Peter and Saint Paul (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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 either of their death or of the translation of their relics.

Saint Peter (died c. 64 AD), also known as Simon Peter, Simeon, or Simon, according to the New Testament, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, leaders of the early Christian Church. The Roman Catholic Church considers him to be the first Pope, ordained by Jesus in the “Rock of My Church” dialogue in Matthew 16:18. The ancient Christian churches all venerate Peter as a major saint and associate him with founding the Church of Antioch and later the Church in Rome, but differ about the authority of his various successors in present-day Christianity.

Paul the Apostle, originally known as Saul of Tarsus was an apostle (though not one of the Twelve Apostles) who taught the gospel of Christ to the first-century world. He is generally considered one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age. In the mid-30s to mid-50s, he founded several churches in Asia Minor and Europe. Paul used his status as both a Jew and a Roman citizen to advantage in his ministry to both Jewish and Roman audiences.

Easter

Easter, also called Pasch or Resurrection Sunday, is a festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day of his burial after his crucifixion by Romans at Calvary c 33 AD. It is the culmination of the Passion of Christ, preceded by Lent (or Great Lent), a forty day period of fasting, prayer and penance.

English: Resurrection of Christ

English: Resurrection of Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ash Wednesday

English: Ash Wednesday, watercolor, 78 x 113 c...

English: Ash Wednesday, watercolor, 78 x 113 cm (detail) Polski: Popielec, akwarela, karton, 78 x 113 cm (frag.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Originating in the fourth century of the church, the season of Lent spans 40 weekdays beginning on Ash Wednesday and climaxing during Holy Week with Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday), Good Friday, and concluding Saturday before Easter. Originally, Lent was the time of preparation for those who were to be baptized, a time of concentrated study and prayer before their baptism at the Easter Vigil, the celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord early on Easter Sunday. Today, Lent is marked by a time of prayer and preparation to celebrate Easter.

Nativity of Mary

English: Saint Anne with the Virgin

English: Saint Anne with the Virgin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Nativity of Mary, or Birth of the Virgin Mary, refers to the traditional birthday of Saint Mary.

The modern canon of scripture does not record Mary’s birth. The earliest known account of Mary’s birth is found in the Protoevangelium of James (5:2), an apocryphal text from the late second century, with her parents known as Saint Anne and Saint Joachim.

In the case of saints, the church commemorates their date of death, with Saint John the Baptist and the Virgin Mary as the few whose birth dates are commemorated. The reason for this is found in the singular mission each had in salvation history, but traditionally also because these alone (besides the prophet Jeremiah, Jer 1:5) were holy in their very birth (John was sanctified in Saint Elizabeth‘s womb according to the traditional interpretation of Lk 1:15).

Devotion to the innocence of Mary under this Marian title is widely celebrated in many cultures across the globe.

Presentation of Jesus at the Temple

Presentation of Christ in the Temple

Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple falls on 2 February and celebrates an early episode in the life of Jesus. In the Eastern Orthodox Church and some eastern Catholic Churches, it is one of the Twelve Great Feasts, and is sometimes called Hipapante (Lit. “Meaning” in Greek). Other traditional names include Candlemas, the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin, and the Meeting of the Lord.

In the Roman Catholic Church, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord is a feast day occurring between the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle on 25 January and the feast of the chair of St. Peter the Apostle on 22 February. In some Western liturgical churches, Vespers (or Compline) on the Feast of the Presentation marks the end of the Epiphany season. In the Church of England, the Presentation of Christ in the temple is a Principal Feast celebrated either on 2 February or on the Sunday between 28 January and 3 February.

In the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, the Presentation is the fourth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary. The episode was also reflected in the once prevalent custom of churching new mothers forty days after the birth of a child.