Orthodox Christians following the Julian calendar are celebrating today the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, who are honored as “the pillars of the Orthodox faith”. The Feast concludes the Fast of Peter and Paul, also traditionally known in Moldova and Romania as the Fast of Sâmpetru.
The feast starts with a Holy Liturgy ceremony held in churches, which culminates with parishioners and priests moving in circles around the church like on Easter Night. Those who fasted can take communion on this day. Even if the fast ends, believers are encouraged to continue fasting every Wednesday and Friday, pray daily and to do good deeds.
St Peter was one of Jesus Christ’s 12 apostles. He spent most of his life preaching the Christian gospel. After his Resurrection, the Lord entrusted Apostle Peter to shepherd his spiritual flock because Peter was first among the Apostles and as such the representative of the Church. St Paul, formerly Saul, was converted to Christianity on the road to Damascus shortly after Jesus Christ’s death. He became an influential leader in the Christian church.
Saints Petru and Paul are considered the heads of the apostles and preachers because they contributed to the spread of the Christian teachings in many parts of the world. The apostles were killed by order of Roman Emperor Nero. Saint Paul was beheaded, while Saint Peter was crucified.