Ss. PETER AND PAUL

Ss. Peter and Paul, the two great and Chief Apostles of Our Lord Jesus Christ, are shown in this icon in a brotherly embrace. Both were transformed from ordinary men to be servants of the Most High God and His Apostles. The Holy Apostles Peter and Paul were zealous for the Faith, each converting many to believe in Christ and His Holy Church.

St. Peter, the first pope, was a fisherman from Galilee. Jesus invited Peter to follow Him, saying "I will make you a fisher of men." Peter was a simple, hard-working man. He was generous, honest and very attached to Jesus. This great Apostle's name was Simon, but Jesus changed it to Peter, which means "rock". You are Peter, Jesus said and on this rock I will build my Church. Jesus, after rising from dead, said to Peter, 'When you were young, you went where you would, but when you are old, you will go where you are taken." And by this words, He foretold Peter's death. He than said "Follow me."

Paul is the great Apostle who at first persecuted the Christians before being converted. At the time of his conversion, Jesus said, "I will show him how much he must suffer for me." St. Paul loved Jesus very much. So much, in fact that he became a living copy of our Savior. Paul called himself the Apostle of the Gentiles. He preached the Gospel to the non-Jews. That took him to the whole known world. Paul writes, "I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith." Ss. Peter and Paul, died around the year 67, during Nero's terrible persecution of Christians.

The icon by the hand of Janusz Charczuk. Egg tempera on wood, priming on textile, background 23K gold leaf. The origins of this icon go back to the island of Patamos, 15th century.