29 June 2012

Sts. Peter & Paul of Rome

St. John Chrysostom, whose Divine Liturgy is used throughout most of the year in Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic churches, wrote something very interesting in his Homily 32 on Romans. Since this is the Feast of Saints Peter & Paul I though I'd pass it along:

"I love Rome even for this, although indeed one has other grounds for praising it, both for its greatness, and its antiquity, and its beauty, and its populousness, and for its power, and its wealth, and for its successes in war. But I let all this pass, and esteem it blessed on this account, that both in his lifetime he (St. Paul) wrote to them, and loved them so, and talked with them whiles he was with us, and brought his life to a close there. Wherefore the city is more notable upon this ground, than upon all others together. 

And as a body great and strong, it has as two glistening eyes the bodies of these Saints (Peter and Paul). Not so bright is the heaven, when the sun sends forth his rays, as is the city of Rome, sending out these two lights into all parts of the world. From thence will Paul be caught up, from thence Peter. Just bethink you, and shudder at the thought of what a sight Rome will see, when Paul arises suddenly from that deposit, together with Peter, and is lifted up to meet the Lord. (1 Thess. 4:17) What a rose will Rome send up to Christ! (Is. 35:1) what two crowns will the city have about it! What golden chains will she be girded with! What fountains possess! 

Therefore I admire the city, not for the much gold, not for the columns, not for the other display there, but for these pillars of the Church. (1 Cor. 15:38.)"

Kontakion, Tone 2

Today Christ the Rock glorifies with highest honor the rock of Faith and leader of the Apostles, together with Paul and the company of the twelve, whose memory we celebrate with eagerness of faith, giving glory to the one who gave glory to them!

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