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We remember today Saints Peter and Paul who guided the early church just after the time of Jesus. Both died as martyrs for the faith in Rome, in the early 60’s, just thirty years after the death of Jesus. Peter was crucified upside down in the courtyard to the left of St. Peter’s Basilica (in the courtyard behind the arch where the Swiss Guards stand on duty) and Paul was beheaded between Rome and the sea, in a place now called Tre Fontane (Italian for three fountains).
Whenever you see statues of Peter and Paul, usually Peter is holding a key, symbolizing his duty as head of the church, and Paul is holding the Bible, symbolizing his preaching.
As we look at the personalities of Peter and Paul, we see that God called them to use their personalities to spread the Gospel, Peter to use his impetuous love to look after the flock, and Paul to use his training as a Pharisee and his strength of character to ensure that the non-Jews would be welcomed into the church. It is a reminder to us that our talents and our weaknesses too can become God’s means of helping others, if we allow. We don’t have to be perfect for God to work through us. God can work through us, faults and all, as he did with Peter and Paul.