This year, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul brought three reasons to celebrate.
The most obvious, is of course the fact that it's a solemnity honouring two of the Church's pillars. On one hand we have St. Peter, and his beautiful profession of faith: "Simon Peter answered, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God'" (Matthew 16:15-16). Then we have the great zealous missionary, the Apostle to the Gentiles, St. Paul. These two continue to inspire and re-invigorate the Church.
One of the ways these saints remain relevant is through the work and ministry of the Bishops and Archbishops of today.
[singlepic id=28 w=320 float=right]This is the second reason of celebration for today.
Today's solemnity marks the annual Pallium Mass. Metropolitan Archbishops who have been named in the last year receive this woolen vestment to show their unity with the Pope. This year, Archbishop Gérald Lacroix, the recently appointed Archbishop of Quebec, was on hand to receive the pallium. We extend our prayers and best wises to him in carrying out his episcopal ministry.
Finally, it is the 60th priestly ordination anniversary for Pope Benedict XVI. In today's homily he considers his priestly ministry, commenting specifically on the phrase that was said at his ordination "No longer servants, but friends":
Friendship is not just about knowing someone, it is above all a communion of the will. It means that my will grows into ever greater conformity with his will. For his will is not something external and foreign to me, something to which I more or less willingly submit or else refuse to submit. No, in friendship, my will grows together with his will, and his will becomes mine: this is how I become truly myself.
The Pope humbly spoke of his call and life as a priest. It's a beautiful homily of thanksgiving and reflection that I highly recommend reading. You can find his homily and see video footage from his ordination on a special page that the Vatican has created here
. And, after visiting, say a prayer for our Holy Father on this very special occasion!
CNS Photo/Paul Haring: Pope Benedict XVI embraces Archbishop Gerald Lacroix of Quebec after presenting the pallium to him during a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica.