Today's Saints (June 29): Peter and Paul (Saint Peter's Day)
Tradition affirms that both Saints Peter and Paul were martyred in Rome under the Roman Emperor Nero in the year 67.
However, their martyrdoms probably did not occur on the same day, and this feast puts them together possibly for the translation of their relics, rather than for the feast of their martyrdom.
It is believed that Peter was crucified and Paul was beheaded.
According to the accounts of Ignatius of Antioch, Clement of Rome and Irenaeus, Peter most likely set up his apostolate in Rome following his governing of the Church in Jerusalem.
Paul also preached in Rome, although this was toward the end of his ministry. In the Early Church, their martyrdoms were celebrated in the basilicas which had been built over their tombs.
"But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art the Christ the Son of the living God." (Matthew 16:15-16, from the day's gospel reading)
The accompanying oil painting is by El Grego, and resides in the National Museum in Stockholm.
Books Worth Considering
The Twelve: the Lives of the Apostles After Calvary
The Inner Circle: Studying the Lives of 13 Apostles
The 12 Apostles: Their Lives & Acts (Children's Book)
Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
The Treasury of Saints and Martyrs
The Oxford Dictionary of Saints (Oxford Paperback Reference)
The Penguin Dictionary of Saints: Third Edition (Dictionary, Penguin)