Sts. Peter and Paul, Feast of
d. c. 64
For Saint Paul who has his own directory, click HERE.
St. Peter's directory is HERE.
A native of Bethsaida, a village near Lake Tiberias, he was the son of John, was called Simon, and lived and worked as a fisherman on Lake Genesareth. His brother Andrew introduced him to Jesus, Who gave him the name Cephas, the Aramaic equivalent of the Greek Peter (the Rock). He was present at Christ's first miracle at Cana and at his home at Capernaum when Jesus cured his mother-in-law, and his boat was always available to the Savior. When Peter acknowledged Jesus as "the Christ . . . the son of the living God" (Matt. 16:16), the Lord replied, "You are Peter and on this rock I will build My Church" (Matt. 16:18) and "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven: Whatever you bind on earth will be considered bound in Heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in Heaven," statements underlying Catholic teaching that Peter was the first Pope and the whole Catholic concept of the primacy of the papacy. Peter is mentioned more frequently in the Gospels than any of the other Apostles. He was with Christ during many of His miracles, but denied Him in the courtyard of Pontius Pilate's palace, where Christ was being held prisoner. He was the head of the Christians after the Ascension, designated Judas' successor, was the first of the Apostles to preach to the Gentiles, was the first Apostle to perform miracles, and converted many with his preaching. He was imprisoned by Herod Agrippa in about 43, but guided by an Angel, escaped and firmly proclaimed that Christ wanted the Good News preached to all at the assembly at Jerusalem. Afterwards he is not mentioned in the New Testament again, but Tradition says he went to Rome, where he was Rome's first Bishop and Christ's first Vicar or Pontiff and was crucified there at the foot of Vatican Hill in about 64 during the reign of Emperor Nero. Excavations under St. Peter's Basilica have unearthed what is believed to be his tomb, and bones found in the tomb are still under intensive study, although authorities are in the belief that it was indeed his tomb that was found.
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