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Article: June 30 + Commemoration of Saint Paul

June 30 + Commemoration of Saint Paul - VENXARA®

June 30 + Commemoration of Saint Paul

Each year on June 30th, the day after the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, the Church liturgically commemorates Saint Paul.

On the 29th of June, in the year 67, while Peter, having crossed the Tiber by the triumphal bridge, was drawing near to the cross prepared for him on the Vatican plain, another martyrdom was being held on the left bank of the same river. Paul, as he was led along the Ostian Way, was also followed by a group of the faithful who mingled with the escort of the condemned.

His sentence was that he should be beheaded at the Salvian waters. A two mile march brought the soldiers to a path leading eastwards, by which they led their prisoner to the place fixed upon for his martyrdom. Paul fell on his knees, addressing his last prayer to God; then having bandaged his eyes, he awaited the death-stroke. A soldier brandished his sword, and the apostle's head, as it was severed from the trunk, made three bounds along the ground ... and three fountains immediately sprang up on these spots.

Such is the local tradition and to this day, three fountains are seen on the site of his martyrdom, over each of which an altar is raised.

Saint Paul left to the Church fourteen Epistles, which have been a fountainhead of doctrine, making clear the most basic truths taught by Christ. His interior life lies open before us in these divine writings; it is the life of one who has died forever to himself, and risen again in Christ Jesus. Saint John Chrysostom, his imitator, wrote: "The heart of Paul is the Heart of Christ! Nor will his labor cease while the race of man continues. Even now, like a chivalrous knight, he stands alive in our midst, and captivates each of his readers to the obedience of Christ."

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