Thursday, June 29, 2023
European Customs in Honor of Ss. Peter and Paul

Father Weiser in the “Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs” relates some of the following customs associated with June 29th:

In Hungary, grains are blessed by the priest after Mass on Peter and Paul's Day. People weave crowns, crosses, and other religious symbols from straw, have them blessed, and carry them on wooden poles in procession around the church. Afterward they take them home and keep them suspended from the ceiling over the dinner table. Bread is also blessed in a special ceremony on this day in Hungary.

A moving custom is practiced in rural sections of the Alpine countries. On June 29, when the church bells ring the "Angelus" early in the morning, people step under the trees in their gardens, kneel down and say the traditional prayer the "Angel of the Lord." Having finished the prayer they bow deeply and make the sign of the cross, believing that on Saint Peter's Day the blessing of the Holy Father in Rome is carried by angels throughout the world to all who sincerely await it.

Sadly, as with most customs associated with the liturgical era, these faded into history when devotion faded from modern man’s life. Learn more about the customs and liturgical heritage of Ss Peter and Paul (including its forgotten Octave).

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