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Roman Holiday: The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

Saint Peter gave his name to this church, this piazza, and tomorrow's excuse to take a day trip

Even the casual visitor to Rome is probably aware of the large building just west of the Tiber bearing the name of one Saint Peter.  Not to mention those dedicated to his fellow apostle Saint Paul scattered about the city as well.  As it turns out, in addition to all those churches and basilicas, as well as countless Rennaisance, Baroque, (as well as some of those other art periods that don’t get as much love) masterpieces here in Rome and around the world, these two saints have a feast day dedicated to them as well!  And it’s tomorrow!  June 29th!  The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul commemorates the martyrdom of the two early Christians, and falls on what is either the anniversary of their deaths or the translation of their relics into a secret hiding place.  Some accounts state that these two saints were martyred on the same day – Paul via beheading, and Peter by way of upside down crucifixion.  Saint Paul’s remains are now thought to be located at the Papal Basilica of Saint Paul’s Outside the Walls (a personal favorite due to its rhyming title), while Saint Peter’s tomb lies beneath his namesake basilica in Vatican City.  In addition to their shared feast day, the two also share the Cerasi Chapel of Santa Maria del Popolo, where Caravaggio’s Conversion of Saul on the Road to Damascus and Crucifixion of Saint Peter face each other across the altar.

These patron saints of Rome are honored yearly with a city-wide holiday, and, apparently fireworks!  A pyrotechnic display will take place tomorrow evening at 10pm at Castel Sant’Angelo, and you’d best believe I’ll be there.  I freakin’ love fireworks.

Where: Fireworks are scheduled to launch from Castel Sant’Angelo, so 060608 recommends viewing from Lungotevere Tor di Nona, Lungotevere Altoviti, Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II, Ponte Principe Amedeo Savoia Aosta, Ponte Umberto I or Via Banco Spirito.
When:  Wednesday, June 29th at 10pm
How much: Like you ever have to pay for fireworks?
Why: To quote this post, I freakin’ love fireworks.  And you probably do too.

One thought on “Roman Holiday: The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

  1. Pingback: This Weekend in Rome: June 29 – July 1 | younginrome

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