Saints Peter and Paul
Epistle • Acts 12:1-11
Lesson from the Acts of the Apostles.
[Peters deliverance from prison by an Angel.]In those days, Herod the king stretched forth his hands to afflict some of the Church: and he killed James, the brother of John, with the sword; and seeing that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to take up Peter also. Now it was in the days of the azymes: and when he had apprehended him, he cast him into prison, delivering him to four files of soldiers to be kept, intending after the pasch to bring him forth to the people.
Peter therefore was kept in prison; but prayer was made without ceasing by the Church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains; and the keepers before the door kept the prison: and behold, an Angel of the Lord stood by him and a light shined in the room; and he striking Peter on the side, raised him up, saying: Arise quickly, and the chains fell off from his hands; and the Angel said to him: Gird thyself, and put on thy sandals; and he did so; and he said to him, cast thy garment about thee, and follow me; and going out, he followed him: and he knew not that it was true which was done by the Angel; but he thought he saw a vision.
And passing through the first and the second ward, they came to the iron gate that leadeth to the city, which of itself opened to them; and going out, they passed on through one street, and immediately the Angel departed from him. And Peter coming to himself, said, Now I know in very deed that the Lord hath sent His Angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.
Gospel • Matthew 16:13-19
Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.
[Peters confession of the Godhead of Christ. He is declared by Our Lord to be the Rock on which the Church rests securely.]
At that time, Jesus came into the quarters of Cæsarea Philippi, and He asked His disciples saying: Whom do men say that the Son of Man is? But they said: Some, John the Baptist, and other some, Elias, and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. Jesus saith to them: But whom do you say that I am? Simon Peter answered, and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God.
And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona, because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but My Father Who is in Heaven: and I say to thee: That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it and to thee I will give the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in Heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in Heaven.