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Blessed are they who have not seen the Lord as the apostle saw Him, but, nevertheless, they love Him with apostolic love and they believe in Him with apostolic faith! Saint Nikolai Velimirovič 

Πέτρος και Παύλος_Peter and Paul Apostles_апостолы Петр и Павел_peterpaul1The Holy Glorious and All-Praised Leaders of the Apostles, Peter and Paul

Commemorated on June 29

Hymn of Praise
Saint Peter and Saint Paul

Unlearned and learned but equal in spirit
And in the love of God, as strong as angels,
Peter a simple man, Paul educated
Both illumined, by the grace of the Spirit,
Two flaming candles, unquenchable candles,
Towering and beautiful, two brilliant stars.
Traversed the earth and spread the light
Nothing did they take, to men they gave all,
Completely poor, the world they enriched,
Prisoners and servants, conquered the entire world,
With the teaching of Christ, enriched the world,
With a new weapon, conquered the entire world:
By humility and peace and meekness blessed,
Prayer and fasting and mercy powerful.
When to them, that stormy day, arrived the stormy night
Bloodthirsty Nero, their life cut short.
But when the ruler of the world, a command issued
And to suffering, gave over Peter and Paul
The world was theirs and not his [Nero’s] anymore,
By death, the apostles gained the Kingdom.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai VelimirovičΠαύλος_Paul Apostle_апПавел_Св.ап.Павле (5)ςHomily
About the joy of faith in Christ

“Although you have never seen Him, you love Him, and without seeing you now believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible joy touched with glory” (1 Peter 1:8).

These are the words of the Holy Apostle Peter. He saw the Lord and loved Him. He looked at the Lord and believed in Him. Precisely because of that, he praises the love of those who have not seen the Lord and the faith of those who have not seen Him with their eyes. Our Lord Himself said: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (St. John 20:29). Blessed are they who have not seen the Lord as the apostle saw Him, but, nevertheless, they love Him with apostolic love. Blessed are they who have not seen the Lord as the apostle saw Him but, nevertheless, they believe in Him with apostolic faith!

O my brethren, even if we do not see the Lord, we see His works which have enlightened the entire history of mankind from one end to the other and have illumined every created thing under the heavens with a spiritual significance. Even if we do not see the Lord, we see His Holy Church built upon His All-holy and Pure Blood, from countless saints, righteous ones and numerous souls baptized in His Name throughout the ages of ages. Even if we do not see the Lord face to face as the apostles saw Him, we believe that He is among us in the Body and Blood by which we, according to His commandment, communicate and, in communicating, we rejoice with unspeakable joy.

Brethren, the Lord is alive and the Lord is near! That is our unwavering faith and that is the spark of fire which stirs our hearts in a flame of love for the Lord, living and near.

To know that our Lord the Creator, out of love, descended into the earth and appeared as a man for our sake and further know that He was dead and that He appeared alive what stronger foundation does our faith need and what stronger justification for our love?

Brethren, the Lord is alive and near. And even in our day, He is appearing to many righteous souls who serve Him with patience.

O Living Lord, You were dead and are alive enliven in us faith and love until our last breath on earth, that with faith and love, we may be worthy to see You face to face as did Your holy apostles.
To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
http://livingorthodoxfaith.blogspot.com/2010/04/prologue-july-3-july-16.html

Πέτρος και Παύλος_Peter and Paul Apostles_апостолы Петр и Павел_Св.ап.Петар и Павле (5)Concern for the good of all people! That concern filled the exalted spirits and noble hearts of the holy apostles. Writing about the Apostle Paul, St. John Chrysostom calls him: “The universal father of the world.” “As though he”, says Chrysostom, “gave birth to the entire world that he anxiously labored and tried to being all into the Kingdom.” Indeed, most exalted is this title: “Universal father of the world” and if this title could be attributed to anyone, other than God, it could only be attributed to the apostles of Christ. By their parental concern for the entire world, they in truth, were “the universal fathers of the world.” There are many mothers in the world who care less about their own children then the apostles were concerned about the good of their persecutors and adversaries. The Apostle Peter twice saved his most bitter adversary, Simon the Magician, from death: once when the people wanted to burn him and another time when a dog wanted to tear him to pieces. Just think, how the world repaid these their benefactors! As if they were the greatest robbers and criminals. O how true are the words of St. Cyril who says: “As long as we are in the body, the same occurs to us Christians as to pagans, the difference is only in the spirit.”

The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič 
http://livingorthodoxfaith.blogspot.com/2010/04/prologue-june-30-july-13.html

Troparion — Tone 4

First-enthroned of the apostles, / teachers of the universe: / Entreat the Master of all / to grant peace to the world, / and to our souls great mercy!

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