Feast of St. Peter & Paul Brings Fascinating News!

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Today is the Feast Day of St. Peter and St. Paul.  Pope Benedict XVI (I think he’s cute) said that he thinks the bones they’ve been testing do belong to St. Paul.

Earliest Known Image of St. Paul
Earliest Known Image of St. Paul

The earliest known image of St. Paul has also been revealed.  Funny  how it looks just about the way I thought he would!

“…n Saturday, the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano announced the June 19 discovery of a fresco inside another tomb depicting St. Paul, which Vatican officials said represented the oldest known icon of the apostle.

Benedict said archaeologists recently unearthed and opened the white marble sarcophagus located under the Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls in Rome, which for some 2,000 years has been believed by the faithful to be the tomb of St. Paul.

Benedict said scientists had conducted carbon dating tests on bone fragments found inside the sarcophagus and confirmed that they date from the first or second century.

“This seems to confirm the unanimous and uncontested tradition that they are the mortal remains of the Apostle Paul,” Benedict said, announcing the findings at a service in the basilica to mark the end of the Vatican’s Paoline year, in honor of the apostle…Vatican archaeologists in 2002 began excavating the 8-foot(2.4-meter)-long tomb of St. Paul, which dates from at least A.D. 390 and was buried under the basilica’s main altar. The decision to unearth it was made after pilgrims who came to Rome during the Roman Catholic Church’s 2000 Jubilee year expressed disappointment at finding that the saint’s tomb – buried under layers of plaster and further hidden by an iron grate – could not be visited or touched.”

READINGS FOR THE FEAST DAY OF ST. PETER AND ST. PAUL

Genesis 18:16-33

16 Then the men set out from there, and they looked towards Sodom; and Abraham went with them to set them on their way. 17The Lord said, ‘Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18seeing that Abraham shall become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?* 19No, for I have chosen* him, that he may charge his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice; so that the Lord may bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.’ 20Then the Lord said, ‘How great is the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah and how very grave their sin! 21I must go down and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me; and if not, I will know.’

22 So the men turned from there, and went towards Sodom, while Abraham remained standing before the Lord.* 23Then Abraham came near and said, ‘Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will you then sweep away the place and not forgive it for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25Far be it from you to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?’ 26And the Lord said, ‘If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will forgive the whole place for their sake.’ 27Abraham answered, ‘Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. 28Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?’ And he said, ‘I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.’ 29Again he spoke to him, ‘Suppose forty are found there.’ He answered, ‘For the sake of forty I will not do it.’ 30Then he said, ‘Oh do not let the Lord be angry if I speak. Suppose thirty are found there.’ He answered, ‘I will not do it, if I find thirty there.’ 31He said, ‘Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.’ He answered, ‘For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.’ 32Then he said, ‘Oh do not let the Lord be angry if I speak just once more. Suppose ten are found there.’ He answered, ‘For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.’ 33And the Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place.

Psalm 103

Of David.
1Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name.
2Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and do not forget all his benefits—
3who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4who redeems your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5who satisfies you with good as long as you live*
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

6The Lord works vindication
and justice for all who are oppressed.
7He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
8The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9He will not always accuse,
nor will he keep his anger for ever.
10He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.

Matthew 8:18-22

18 Now when Jesus saw great crowds around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. 19A scribe then approached and said, ‘Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.’ 20And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’ 21Another of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’ 22But Jesus said to him, ‘Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.’

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