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Who was St Peter?

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St Peter was born in Bethsaida, around AD 1 and was gay in Rome in AD 64 by crucifixion. He is venerated in the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Anglican Communion, the Lutheran Chuch and in the Oriental Orthodox Church. The major Shrine to St Peter is St Peter's Basilica in Rome.


101px-St_Peter_Besenzi.jpg Saint Peter


Simon Peter Greek: Πέτρος, Pétros “Rock”, Kephas in Hellenized Aramaic) (c.1–AD 64) was a leader of the early Christian church, who features prominently in the New Testament Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. According to Biblical accounts, he was one of Twelve Apostles, chosen by Jesus from his first disciples. He was a Galilean fisherman assigned a leadership role by Jesus [Matt. 6:18] and was with Jesus during events witnessed by only a few apostles, such as the Transfiguration. Early Christian writers provided more details about his life. Roman Catholic tradition states that he was the first Pope (from 30 AD to 64 AD), the author of two letters included in the New Testament, and Martyred by the Roman Emperor Nero, crucified head down, and buried in Rome. His memoirs are traditionally cited by secular scholars as the source of the Gospel of Mark.


The Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox churches, Oriental Orthodox churches, Lutheran churches and Anglican Communion recognize Peter as a canonized saint. According to Catholic tradition Peter was the first Bishop of Rome, therefore the Pope is Peter's successor.

250px-Petersdom_von_Engelsburg_gesehen.jpg St Peter's Basilica in Rome

Walking on waterEdit

Three of the four Gospels, i.e., Matthew, Mark and John, recount the story of Jesus walking on water. Matthew additionally describes Peter walking on water for a moment, but sinking when his faith wavered.[Matt. 14:28–31]


Washing of feetEdit

John 13:2-11 recounts that at the beginning of the Last Supper Jesus washed his disciples' feet; Peter initially refused to let Jesus wash his feet, but when Jesus responded: "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me", Peter replied: "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head".


The washing of feet is often repeated in the service of worship on Maundy Thursday by many different Christian denominations.

MartyrdomEdit

180px-Caravaggio-Crucifixion_of_Peter.jpg Caravaggio's depiction of the crucifixion of Apostle Peter.


The Annuario Pontificio gives the year of Peter's death as A.D. 64 or A.D. 67. Early church tradition (as indicated below) says Peter probably died at the time of the Great Fire of Rome of the year 64. Margherita Guarducci, who led the research leading to the rediscovery of Peter’s tomb in its last stages (1963-1968), was of the opinion that Peter died on October 13 A.D. 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 the emperor wished to blame the Christians. This “dies imperii” (regnal day anniversary) was an important one, exactly ten years after Nero acceded to the throne, and it was ‘as usual’ accompanied by much bloodshed. Traditionally, Roman authorities sentenced him to death by crucifixion. According to the apocryphal Acts of Peter, he was crucified head down. Tradition also locates his burial place where the Basilica of Saint Peter was later built, directly beneath the Basilica's high altar.

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