Dedication of the Basilicas of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul
An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 18 of November, repeating indefinitely
The whole Church celebrates today the dedication of the two great Roman basilicas of St. Peter at the Vatican and of St. Paul-Outside-the-Walls. The basilica of St. Peter stands on the site of the tomb of the Prince of the Apostles, where stood Nero’s circus. It was here that St. Peter was executed. Recent excavations have shown that the present basilica which, in the seventeenth century, replaced the ancient Constantinian basilica, was built, like it, over the tomb of St. Peter. It was consecrated by Urban VIII on November 18, 1626. St. Paul-Outside-the-Walls, situated at the other end of the city, is also built on the tomb of the Apostle to whom it is dedicated. It was almost completely destroyed by fire in 1823 and was re-built in sumptuous fashion by Gregory XVI and Pius IX and consecrated by the latter on December 10, 1854. The celebration of the anniversary of these two dedications has been kept, nevertheless, on November 18.