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Catholic Activity: June 29: Feast of Saint Peter

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June 29 is now the Solemnity of both Peter and Paul, but Feast Day Cookbook deals with St. Peter, giving the symbols and patronages of St. Peter with a recipe of Fillet of Flounder.

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The last day but one of this month celebrates the feast of Saint Peter. Mrs. Jameson in her monumental work, Sacred and Legendary Art, says that "all saints are, in one sense, patron saints; either as protectors of some particular nation, province or city, or of some particular avocation, trade, or condition of life; but there is a wide distinction to be drawn between the merely national and local saints, and those universally accepted and revered." Surely Saint Peter belongs in the latter category.

Peter is usually depicted as a robust man, of undaunted countenance: he is given the broad rustic features befitting a pilot of the Galilean Sea and is shown with a short, curled beard and a bald head.

One of the badges of Saint Peter is the cock, an allusion to the crowing of that bird which caused the saint to go out and weep bitterly for his denial of Christ; but when he is distinguished by a fish, the symbol is of double significance Peter''s avocation as a fisherman and his mission as a fisher of men.

In many sea-coast towns of England he is regarded as chief protector and his day made one of high festival. Boats are decked in ribbons and flowers and often repainted in honor of the occasion. Races and feats of seamanship take place before an admiring crowd on shore, and everyone gathers together for a feast of which the chief dish is always fish.

Activity Source: Feast Day Cookbook by Katherine Burton and Helmut Ripperger, David McKay Company, Inc., New York, 1951

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