As June 29th is mainly devoted to the honoring of St. Peter, this day is assigned as the special feast of St. Paul. The Mass of today according to ancient Roman traditions was that of the second station of yesterday. As Peter still lives and governs through his successors, so does Paul continue to preach the Gospel every day throughout the world by means of his writings which the Church reads almost invariably at Holy Mass.
On June 29, A.D. 67 St. Peter was crucified, head downward, by order of Nero, on a hill overlooking the Vatican. On the same day St. Paul was beheaded outside one of the gates of Rome. The Romans celebrated this feast with splendor equal to, if not surpassing, that of Easter.
St. Irenaeus, born at Smyrna in Asia Minor, was a pupil of the Martyr St. Polycarp, Bishop of that city, and himself a favorite disciple of St. John the Evangelist. Later he became Bishop of Lyons in Gaul, where, with many other Christians, he was put to death for the Faith , 202. In his writings, many of which are still extant, St. Irenaeus bears eloquent testimony to the primary in the Church of St. Peter’s See.