Peter was a native of Bethsaida, near Lake Tiberias, the son of john. He worked as a fisherman on Lake Genesareth. Andrew, Peter’s brother introduced him to Jesus and Christ called him to be a disciple. In the gospel of Luke is recounted the story that Peter caught so large an amount of fish that he fell down before the feet of Jesus and was told by the Lord “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men”. Jesus also gave him a name Cephas meaning ‘the rock’.
Becoming a disciple of Jesus, Peter acknowledged Him as “The messiah, the son of the living God”. Christ responded saying “you are Peter, the rock on which I will build my church”… He added “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven”. He was one of the members of Jesus’ inner circle with James and John. When Jesus was arrested he cut off the ear of the high priest Malcus. He denied Christ 3 times as Jesus had told and went and wept bitterly. After His resurrection when the Lord came before the disciples at Tiberias, He gave to Peter the famous command “Feed my lambs… Tend my sheep… Feed my sheep”. Peter was the first among the apostles to speak to the crowds that had gathered after the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. He was the first apostle to perform miracles in the name of Jesus. Imprisoned by King Herod Agrippa, he was aided in an escape by an angel.
He died in Rome as a martyr at the age of 64. He was crucified on the Vatican hill, upside down as he desired as he declared himself of being unworthy of dying in the same manner as the Lord. He was then buried on the Vatican hill. From the earliest days of the Church Peter was recognized as the Prince of apostles and as the Supreme Pontiff. While St. Peter’s chief feast day is on June 29th, he is also honoured on February 22 and November 18. In the liturgical art, he is depicted as an elderly man holding a key and a book.
Sharon Vas, Student Representative, ACC