Today's Solemnity: Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles

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"Today's solemnity: Saints Peter and Paul" by Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS (CatholicMom.com)

Photo by Jerry Dougherty (2008) via Flickr, all rights reserved.

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. But what does the word “solemnity” mean?

Solemnities are the highest degree and are usually reserved for the most important mysteries of faith. These include Easter, Pentecost and the Immaculate Conception; the principal titles of Our Lord, such as King and Sacred Heart; and celebrations that honor some saints of particular importance in salvation history, such as Sts. Peter and Paul, and St. John the Baptist on his day of birth.

Solemnities have the same basic elements as a Sunday: three readings, prayer of the faithful, the Creed and the Gloria which is recited even when the solemnity occurs during Advent or Lent. (quoted at EWTN.com)

On a solemnity, not only do we celebrate a Sunday-style Mass during the week, but we don’t have to abstain from meat if the solemnity falls on a Friday!

Read more about this solemnity and the saints we celebrate today:

Are You a St. Peter or a St. Paul?

Reflection for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles

Play a game of Saint Bingo with your kids today — right after you enjoy a BLT for lunch.

Some other delicious ways to celebrate this feast with food:

  • Serve Italian food, as both saints were martyred in Rome
  • Serve Middle-Eastern food; St. Peter was from Galilee and St. Paul from Tarsus, in modern-day Turkey
  • Serve black-and-white cookies: these tasty treats join two opposites together, just like St. Peter and St. Paul had different approaches to teaching people about Jesus
  • Enjoy goldfish crackers (St. Peter was a fisherman) and make celery boats (St. Paul was shipwrecked during his journeys)

Copyright 2018 Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS

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About Author

Barb Szyszkiewicz is a wife, mom, Secular Franciscan, managing editor for Today's Catholic Teacher magazine and editor at CatholicMom.com. Her three children range in age from high school to young adult, and she enjoys writing, cooking, and reading. Barb is a music minister at her parish and an avid Notre Dame football and basketball fan. Find her blog at FranciscanMom and her family’s favorite recipes with nutrition information for diabetics at Cook and Count.

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