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Sunday, 5 February 2017

Saint Peter

St Peter was one of the inner circle of Jesus' disciples and the chief Apostle.

Before being called by Jesus, Peter lived in the fishing village of Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee where he and his brother Andrew were fishermen.

Peter was married according to the gospel of Mark. The name of his wife is unknown.

Jesus assigned St Peter a leadership role early on but he famously denied our Lord just before the crucifixion. However Peter went on to become a founder of the Christian Church, and the first to welcome Gentiles into the new religion.

Saint Peter as Pope by Peter Paul Rubens 

Peter's original name was "Shimon" or "Simeon". He was later given the name "Peter", which means rock and refers to the strength and steadfastness of his character.

Church Tradition says that Peter probably died by crucifixion (with arms outstretched) in the year 64.
Some classical scholars believe that Peter died on October 13, 64 during the festivities on the occasion of the "dies imperii" of Emperor Nero. This took place three months after the disastrous fire that destroyed Rome for which Nero wished to blame the Christians.

Caravaggio's depiction of the crucifixion of Apostle Peter

Tradition also locates his burial place as being where St. Peter's Basilica was later built, in Vatican City.

Early bishops occupying the See of Rome were designated 'vicar (representative) of Peter' and traditionally Roman Catholics deem St Peter to have been the bishop of Rome and therefore the first pope.

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