Icons of Saints Peter and Andrews

Icon of Saints Peter and Andrew

Just as the apostles Peter and Andrew were brothers, so the Churches of which they are the patron Saints: Peter of Rome and Andrew of Constantinople ought to be united.  And what unity should they have? The unity which is expressed in the icon, the unity of two different personalities , even different roles in the Church, but one sharing in the love of each other which is the very life of the Trinity. 

This love is expressed between these Apostles by believing one faith, offering one worship, and living one witness to the world.  This is the unity which the Christian Churches are trying to complete.   This is the goal of Ecumenism. 

The icon was given as a gift by His All-Holiness Athenagoras, Patriarch of Constantinople to His Holiness Paul VI, Pope of Rome in 1964, the year they consigned the anathamas between their Churches to oblivion.   The icon represents the special brotherly bond, founded in the brotherhood of the two Apostles, between the two occupants of the Sees of Peter and Andrew, between particular Churches of Rome and Constantinople which they represent, and between all Orthodox and all Catholics.