─St. Asterius of Amasea (c. 350 – c. 410 AD): On the Chief Holy Apostles, Peter and Paul.
"But not to dwell upon ancient examples, let us come to the most recent spiritual heroes. Let us take the noble examples furnished in our own generation. Through envy and jealousy the greatest and most righteous pillars [of the church] have been persecuted and put to death. Let us set before our eyes the illustrious apostles. Peter, through unrighteous envy, endured not one or two, but numerous labours; and when he had at length suffered martyrdom, departed to the place of glory due to him. Owing to envy, Paul also obtained the reward of patient endurance, after being seven times thrown into captivity, compelled to flee, and stoned. After preaching both in the east and west, he gained the illustrious reputation due to his faith, having taught righteousness to the whole world, and come to the extreme limit of the west, and suffered martyrdom under the prefects. Thus was he removed from the world, and went into the holy place, having proved himself a striking example of patience."
─Pope St. Clement I (reigned 88 - 99 AD): Letter to the Corinthians, 5
|Apostles Peter and Paul, by El Greco. Oil on canvas, c. 1592; |
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg.