2018 Flower Festival - June 28th-July 1st

Pillars of Faith

Our Flower Festival is entitled “Pillars of Faith” as the themes of the flower arrangements are based on various events and aspects of the lives of the two great Apostles, St. Peter and St. Paul. Because of the significant role these two men played in establishing and building up the early Church, they are truly pillars of the Church. Like many of the great saints, they had their flaws, but their faith led them to do great things for the Church and eventually to martyrdom. Together they share a Feast Day on 29th June.

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Exhibit No1
Theme: St. Peter & St. Paul
Arranged by: Angela Hyland
Sponsored by: Angela Hyland - In memory of Paul Hyland

Saints Peter and Paul were Apostles and two great pillars of the Church. Peter, originally called Simon until Jesus gave him the name Peter, would become the source of unity around which the early Church was founded. Paul, or Saul in the Hebrew version of his name, reached out beyond Israel to other peoples in nations of the Roman Empire to preach the Gospel far and wide.

The two distinct but complementary roles of Peter and Paul were crucial in forming and building the early Church. Their two roles of unifying the Church and evangelizing are still equally important aspects of the life of the Church today. These two great pillars of the early Church offered their whole lives to Jesus and preaching his Gospel, each in their own way. Both would die for the Faith.

Exhibit No2
Theme: St Peter - The Rock & First Pope
Arranged by: June Bennett
Sponsored by: Derrick Dyer - In memory of Bertie & Catherine Dyer

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At Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked his disciples who people thought he, the Son of Man was. Peter replied with a declaration of faith: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). Jesus then goes on to bestow leadership and authority over the Church upon Peter: “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it” (Matthew16:18). And Jesus gives him the name “Peter”, meaning rock.

After Jesus’ death and resurrection, Peter took a place of pre-eminence among the Apostles and was the first leader of the Church, the first Pope – a title that comes from the Latin “papa”, meaning “father”. Pope Francis, the present successor of St. Peter, is the 266th to hold the office.

Exhibit No3
Theme: St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians
Arranged by: Joy Cloke
Sponsored by: Betty Guerney - In memory of a friend who loved her flowers

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1 Corinthians 13, also referred to as "the hymn of love" is often noted for being the most loved chapter in the entire New Testament. St. Paul is telling the Corinthians that, whatever their gifts are, they should exercise them with love seeping through their every action: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal … Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude … Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things … So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (from 1 Corinthians 13
Exhibit No4
Theme: St. Peter & the Arrest of Jesus
Arranged by: Edna Trudgeon
Sponsored by: Trudy Whiston - In memory of Kathleen Whiston

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When Jesus was arrested, Peter was as impetuous as ever: “Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus.” (John 18:10) Peter was again acting first without thinking of the consequences. Jesus rebukes him for using violence. Jesus knew that he must complete his Holy Mission, to be arrested without resistance, to be tried and crucified without resistance, then Rise from the Dead.
Exhibit No5
Theme: St. Peter & the Arrest of Jesus
Arranged by: Edna Trudgeon
Sponsored by: Trudy Whiston - In memory of Kathleen Whiston

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Paul was not one of the original 12 disciples that Jesus gathered round him, whom we call apostles. In fact there is no evidence that Paul ever actually met Jesus in the flesh. However, the word “apostle” literally means “one who is sent” – as opposed to a disciple who is a follower. But Paul did encounter Our Lord on the road to Damascus and was chosen by Our Lord to go out and preach in his name. In a vision to Ananias, who was to baptize Paul, Our Lord says about Paul: “He is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel.” (Acts 9:15) Paul was sent out by Our Lord to preach not just to the Jewish people but to Gentiles as well. Through his writings and his travels he spread the Faith far and wide and truly deserves the title “Apostle”.
Exhibit No6
Theme: St. Peter the Martyr
Arranged by: Pat Whitehouse
Sponsored by: The arranger - In memory of Pat Kelly

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Towards the end of Gospel of St. John, Jesus hints at the martyrdom of St. Peter when he says: “When you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” (John 20:18-19)

Peter spent the later part of his life in Rome, where he was martyred, possibly under the Emperor Nero in A.D. 64. According to tradition, Peter asked to be crucified upside down so that his death was not equal to that of Christ’s. His body is buried in Rome, beneath where St. Peter’s Basilica now stands.

Exhibit No7
Theme: St. Paul Shipwrecked
Arranged by: Angela Hyland, Pat Whitehouse, & Denise Marley
Sponsored by: Hyland Family - In memory of Julienne Wray

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Christianity was brought to the Island of Malta by none other than the Apostle Paul himself in around A.D. 60. Paul was being taken to Rome to be tried as a political rebel, but the ship carrying him was caught in a violent storm and was wrecked. This is described in the Acts of the Apostles (chapter 27 and 28). All aboard swam safely to land: “After we had reached safety, we then learned that the island was called Malta” (Acts 28:1)

During his winter stay, he was invited to the house of Publius, the Romans' chief man on the Islands. It was here that Paul cured Publius' father of a serious fever: “Paul visited him and cured him by praying and laying hands on him” (Acts 28:8). Publius is then said to have converted to Christianity and was made the first Bishop of Malta. The Cathedral of Mdina is said to stand on the site of Publius' house.

After 3 months, they set sail again and Paul was taken on to Rome, where he was kept under house arrest.

Exhibit No8
Theme: The Apostles
Arranged by The Catechism Class
Sponsored by: Sally Wilson - In memory of Frank Wilson

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Jesus called 12 men to be his closest followers. All when called, responded immediately, left everything and followed him. Except Judas who killed himself after betraying Jesus, the Apostles, having been prepared by Our Lord and having received the Holy Spirit, were sent out into the world to spread the Gospel far and wide. They were the foundations of the early Church and the Bishops of the Church are their successors, who now have responsibility for preaching the Gospel in our world today.

Although the Gospels give slightly different names for the same men, the original 12 Apostles are: Simon Peter, Andrew (brother of Peter), James (son of Zebedee), John (brother of James, son of Zebedee), Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Judas Thaddeus (also known as Jude), Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot.

After the death of Judas, Matthias was elected to replace him. St. Paul, because of his prominent role in the Church is also classed as an Apostle.

Exhibit No9
Theme: St. Paul’s Letters
Arranged by Anne Tranter
Sponsored by: Brian & Alison Byrne

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Paul’s letters were not private correspondence but intended for public reading to the community to whom they were addressed. They were written to teach and encourage the Church communities that Paul had established in the Roman Empire around the Mediterranean. The letters of St. Paul were fundamental in developing the Church’s understanding of the teachings of Christ. The theology encapsulated in his letters played and continues to play a very important part in our understanding of Christianity and what it means to be a Christian. So important are St. Paul’s letters that the early Church proclaimed them to be divinely inspired and part of the Scriptures, where they make up a significant part of the New Testament.
Exhibit No10
Theme: St. Peter & The Empty Tomb
Arranged by Di Goodman
Sponsored by: Doreen Walker - In memory of Ken Walker

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In St. John’s Gospel, Mary Magdalene discovered that the stone had been removed from the tomb in which the body had Jesus had been buried on Easter morning. She went to inform Peter and the disciple Jesus loved what she had found. The two disciples went running to the tomb and on reaching it, it was Peter who went in: “He saw the linen cloths lying, and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not know the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.” (John 20:6-9) It was that simple experience of the empty tomb that made everything fall into place for St. Peter and the other disciple. They came to have faith that Jesus had risen from the dead – the mystery which stands at the very heart of Christianity.
Exhibit No11
Theme: St. Peter & the Resurrection Appearances
Arranged by Teresa Fooks
Sponsored by: Margot Newby - In memory of Katerina Newby

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Jesus made several appearances to various disciples after his Resurrection and Peter is present at a number of these. In particular, Peter is present with the other Apostles on a mountain in Galilee, to which Jesus had directed them to meet him. At this appearance, Jesus commissions the Apostles to: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:19-20)
Exhibit No12
Theme: St. Peter’s Denial of Jesus
Arranged by Nigel Allen
Sponsored by: Paul Richards - In memory of Joseph & Fay Richards

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Peter’s denial of being a follower of Jesus is found in all four Gospels. Jesus knew that Peter’s faith would fail him and had foretold that Peter would deny him. After Jesus’ arrest, he was taken to the high priest to be questioned. Peter followed at a distance and stood outside in the courtyard. Three times Peter was accused of being one of Jesus’ followers and three times Peter said, “I do not know the man.” After the third time: “The cock crowed. Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said: ‘Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly.” (Matthew 26:74-75)

Peter’s denial was due to weakness and fear. And yet, God used Peter’s many failures, including his three denials of Christ, to turn him from Simon, the ordinary fisherman, into Peter, the Rock, the pillar of the early Church.

Exhibit No13
Theme: St. Paul’s Escape from Damascus
Arranged by: Patsy Tarbox & Eileen McDevitt
Sponsored by: Nicola Dancer - In memory of John & Pauline Reed

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After his conversion to the Faith on the road to Damascus, St. Paul started preaching in the synagogues of Damascus, much to the surprise of those who heard him as his reputation for persecuting Christians preceded him. His preaching made him enemies: “When many days had passed, the Jews plotted to kill him, but their plot became known to Saul. They were watching the gates day and night, to kill him; but his disciples took him by night and let him down over the wall, lowering him in a basket.” (Acts 9:23-25)
Exhibit No14
Theme: St. Paul Witnesses the Martyrdom of St. Stephen
Arranged by: Pam Watson
Sponsored by: Marion Rolf and The Music Group & Friends - In memory of Trish Cowling

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Stephen was appointed a deacon in the early church to help provide for those in need. He gained a reputation for being a great man of faith amongst believers and “did great wonders and signs among the people” (Acts 6:8). This also brought him to the attention of the authorities and he was falsely accused of blasphemy. When he was brought before the authorities he accused them of betraying the faith handed down to them, of murdering Jesus, “the Righteous One” (Acts 7:52), and of not keeping the law. Enraged, they dragged him out of the city where they stoned him to death. As Stephen was dying he prayed for his killers. Watching this was Paul, who at this time was in favour of persecuting the Christians: “And Saul approved of their killing him.” (Acts 8:1)
Exhibit No15
Theme: St. Paul - The Book and The Sword
Arranged by: Christine Smith
Sponsored by: Marie Hawken - In memory of the Brennan, Conroy, & Hawken families.

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Images and statues of St. Paul often depict him carrying a book and a sword. These two symbols represent two aspects of the life of St. Paul: the book represents the letters of St. Paul which are part of the New Testament; the sword represents his martyrdom as he was beheaded. They are symbols of his teaching and preaching the Faith and of his willingness to die for the Faith.
Exhibit No16
Theme: St. Peter Ad Vincula (St. Peter in Chains)
Arranged by: Pat Whitehouse & Angela Hyland
Sponsored by: Jo Daniels - In memory of Alison Stock

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In the Acts of the Apostles (12:3-19) Herod Agrippa, King of Judea, has Peter put in prison in Jerusalem. However, the night before Peter was due to be put on trial, an angel appeared to him, and told him to leave. The chains that bound Peter's fell off, and he followed the angel out of prison. The prison doors opened of their own accord, and the angel led Peter into the city and took refuge there in a house of some other Christians, before leaving for Caesarea. The chains that held Peter were kept and venerated in Jerusalem.

Later, Peter was imprisoned again in the Mamertine Prison in Rome prior to his execution. The chains that shackled Peter on this occasion were kept and honoured in Rome. Iron chains became, paradoxically, an early symbol of Christian freedom. Though the emperors possessed the power to chain the popes, including Peter, the Church endured and triumphed.

Exhibit No17
Theme: St. Paul’s Journeys in Turkey
Arranged by: Sue Lawson
Sponsored by: Christine Ruse

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Of all the apostles, Paul stands out as the one who was the traveller par excellence. His journeys through the length and breadth of the ancient world are nothing short of remarkable and given the difficulties of traveling in these times, let alone the animosity and danger he faced trying to convert populations to the new faith, it is a credit to the endurance and tenacity of the man that he accomplished as much as he did. Paul, originally Saul, was born in Tarsus in what is now southern Turkey.

Paul became one of the most significant Christian missionaries in history. As he spread Jesus’ message on three journeys throughout Asia Minor and Greece between about AD 47 and 57, Paul brought the Gospel to the masses and established new churches. He encountered much resistance along the way, particularly in Ephesus, and survived stonings, beatings, riots and imprisonment.

The first Christian community in Ephesus was established by St John and developed by St Paul. Paul stayed in Ephesus for about three and a half years and his letters to Ephesians, written in captivity, are in the New Testament.

Exhibit No18
Theme: St. Paul’s Journeys in Greece
Arranged by: Catherine Brewer
Sponsored by: Brenda Townes - In memory of Clifford Townes

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Paul travelled extensively in Greece preaching as he went, converting the people to Christianity and establishing Christian communities. At the time, the Greeks were polytheistic and worshipped such deities as Athena, Poseidon, and Zeus. Paul is responsible for giving Christianity a start in Greece. Many of the books in the New Testament, such as Acts, talk about his experiences in Greece.

One of Paul’s most famous speeches took place in Athens in 51 AD. While there, he noticed that the Athenians had created an altar with the inscription “to an unknown god”. Paul used this as an opportunity to reason with the Greeks in Athens (Acts 17:22-30).

Among the places that St. Paul visited were Corinth, Philippi and Thessalonica. His letters to these communities also are contained in the New Testament. Although he was successful in converting people to Christianity, this was not always received well.

Exhibit No19
Theme: St. Paul in Prison
Arranged by: Hayley Moore
Sponsored by: Companions of St. Monica (Parish Ladies Group)

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Paul was imprisoned several times and wrote much from prison. In his first recorded incarceration at Philippi he was imprisoned with Silas, a companion of St. Paul on his travels. The Acts of the Apostles records that: “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he supposed that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted in a loud voice, ‘Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.’” (Acts 16:25-28)

Following this the jailer came to believe and was baptized. The next day the magistrates sent for Paul and Silas and they were released.

Exhibit No20
Theme: St. Peter & The Washing of Feet
Arranged by: Christine Hayly
Sponsored by: Mary de Wolf - In memory of Anne Margot Davis

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St. Peter was at the Last Supper with the other Apostles, just prior to Jesus’s arrest. At that supper, Jesus, “Rose from supper, laid aside his garments, and girded himself with a towel. Then he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which he was girded. He came to Simon Peter; and Peter said to him, ‘Lord, do you wash my feet?’ Jesus answered him, ‘What I am doing you do not know now, but afterward you will understand.’ Peter said to him, ‘You shall never wash my feet.’ Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no part in me.’ Simon Peter said to him, ‘Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!’ Jesus said to him, ‘He who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but he is clean all over; and you are clean, but not all of you.’ For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, ‘You are not all clean.’” (John13:4-11)

For Jesus, this was a display of His humility and His servanthood: “For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.” (John 13:15)

Exhibit No21
Theme: St. Peter - The Fisher of Men
Arranged by: Caroline Crabb
Sponsored by: Geoff & Pauline Phillips - In memory of Charles, Jessie, Tony & Donald Ham, and Jim & Annie Phillips

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Peter and his brother Andrew were fishermen from the area around the Sea of Galilee. It is here that Jesus encounters them and calls them both to follow him and to become two of the group of twelve who would become the apostles. In the Gospel of Matthew we are told about this first encounter: “As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him.” (Matthew 4:18-20)

Such an impact did this encounter have on Peter and Andrew that they left their nets and followed him immediately to become “Fishers of Men”, bringing others to Faith in Jesus. The Church is often referred to as “The Barque of Peter” – a “barque” being a boat.

Exhibit No22
Theme: St. Peter Walking on Water
Arranged by: Fleurtations
Sponsored by: Margaret & Robin Nicholls - In memory of Josie Blamey

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After the miracle of the feeding of the 5000, Jesus, “made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’ Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’” (Matthew 14:22-33)
Exhibit No23
Theme: St. Paul The Martyr
Arranged by: Denise Marley
Sponsored by: Des & Sue Bell

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The details of St. Paul’s martyrdom are not recorded in the Scriptures. However, mention is made of his death in a number of early writings from the latter part of the 1st century and the early part of the 2nd century. It is thought he was put to death in around 66-68 A.D. Christianity by this time had been made illegal by the Romans, who would not allow any other gods before Caesar while Christians would not put any other gods before God.

Usually criminals were crucified by the Romans, but as Paul was a Roman citizen it is thought that he was beheaded instead – a quicker and less painful way to die. According to tradition, his martyrdom occurred at Aquae Salviae in Rome, which is now known as Tre Fontane. Legend says that his head bounced three times, and a fountain sprung up at each stop – hence the name Tre Fontane, or Three Fountains. His body was taken about two miles away to be buried in land owned by a friend, where the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls was later built.

Exhibit No24
Theme: St. Paul The Tentmaker
Arranged by: Hannah Hyland
Sponsored by: Maura Bennett - In memory of Liam Bennett

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“After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, lately come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them; and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them, and they worked, for by trade they were tentmakers. And he argued in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded Jews and Greeks.” (Acts 18:1-4)

Although Paul was an educated man, it was common for parents to pass down the family trade to their sons, and it is quite possible that tent making was a family business. It was also common for rabbis to have to earn their own living through some sort of trade. Paul’s extensive travels were expensive and he would have to have met the travel expenses and the living expenses for himself and those who travelled with him. He was keen not to have been a financial burden on the communities he stayed with but to pay his own way as he travelled around to preach the Gospel.

Exhibit No25
Theme: St. Peter - Quo Vadis? (Where are you going?)
Arranged by: Anne West
Sponsored by: John & Anne West - In memory of Raymond Gwennap

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The Quo Vadis tradition is the story of St Peter’s flight from the Emperor Nero’s persecution of Christians in Rome in the first century. As legend has it, Peter decided to flee Rome at the outbreak of the persecution. Heading out of Rome on the Via Appia, Peter meets Jesus, who is heading into the city to face the persecution. “Quo vadis, Domine,” Peter asks – “Lord, where are you going?” “I am going to Rome to be crucified again,” Jesus answers – and disappears. At which point Peter turns back into the city to embrace martyrdom.

Does it matter if this event ever actually took place? In a way it doesn’t because, like many myths, it contains an important truth. In the story, Peter sees in Jesus’ behaviour how he should behave, how he is being called. Christians look to Jesus to be guided in their lives and to receive the courage and support to follow that guidance, that calling.

The Church of Domine Quo Vadis on the Appian Way outside of Rome is built where the meeting between Peter and Jesus allegedly took place.

Exhibit No26
Theme: St. Paul’s Conversion on the Road to Damascus
Arranged by: Sylvia Ryan, Deborah Powsland, & Clare Darbyshire
Sponsored by: The arrangers - In memory of John Ryan

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Initially St. Paul had been a fervent persecutor of Christians. Therefore his conversion to Christianity was dramatic, both in the sense that he went from trying to destroy it to being one of its greatest proponents and also in the experience that brought about his conversion.

In Acts it we hear about this experience: “Now as he journeyed he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him. And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ And he said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting; but rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” (Acts 9:3-6) Paul was blind for three days after the event until he was baptized by Ananias in Damascus. He went on to become the greatest teachers and preachers of the Faith.

The Church celebrates the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul on the 25th of January.

Exhibit No27
Theme: St. Peter & The Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven
Arranged by: Kevin Grant
Sponsored by: The arranger - In memory of Mr & Mrs Grant

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In the Gospel of St. Matthew, Jesus says to Peter, "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on Earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on Earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 16:19).

Statues and images of St. Peter usually portray him holding a set of keys. These keys are a symbol of the papal authority given to him by Our Lord, an authority to uphold the Faith given to the Apostles by Jesus and to by a source of unity in the Church. The crossed keys are part of the coat of arms of all Popes, symbolizing that they the successors of St. Peter.