St Peter (whose original name was Simon or Simeon) was recognised in the early Christian church as the leader of the disciples and by the Roman Catholic Church as the first of the unbroken succession of popes. There is an ancient story that St Peter was crucified up-side-down at his own request, because he thought himself unworthy to suffer in the same position as that in which his Lord was nailed.
St Paul is generally considered one of the most important figures of the early church and one of the greatest religious leaders of all time. Paul's dramatic conversion experience with the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus dramatically changed the course of his life. Prior to AD50, he founded several churches in Asia Minor and Europe. Being a Jew and a Roman citizen were ideal pedigrees for his ministry to both Jewish and Roman audiences. Christian tradition holds that Paul was beheaded in Rome during the reign of Nero around AD67.
Prayer for the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul
Almighty God, whose apostles Peter and Paul glorified you in their deaths as in their lives: grant that your Church inspired by their teaching and example, and knit together in unity by your Spirit, may ever stand firm upon the one foundation, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen