Prince of the Apostles, first Pope, martyr, preacher
Fishermen, popes, locksmiths, bridge builders, shipwrights, harvesters
Peter was born at Bethsaida, near the Sea of Galilee. Peter, whose name was originally Simon, was a fisherman along with his brother Andrew. Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was first a follower of John the Baptist and then became the first apostle of Jesus. Andrew introduced his brother Simon to Jesus. The name Peter, meaning ‘rock’, was selected by Jesus to indicate the he would be the rock-like foundation on which the Church would be built. Peter was a faithful follower of Jesus although at the Last Supper Jesus predicted that Peter would deny him three times following his death. Jesus said unto him, “Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.” At the time of the arrest of Jesus, Peter cut off the ear of a servant of the high priest with a sword but then, as had been predicted, he denied three times that he had never known Jesus. Peter then traveled to spread the Gospel and was in Rome in 63/64AD during the rule of the Roman Emperor Nero (r.54-68). In 64 AD Nero set fire to Rome and blamed the Christians for its destruction. Peter was one of the Christians who was taken prisoner and was sentenced to death by crucifixion. Saint Peter was crucified with his head downwards because he did not consider himself worthy to die in the same manner and posture as his Divine Master.
O glorious St. Peter, because of your vibrant and generous faith, sincere humility and flaming love, our Lord honored you with singular privileges and especially leadership of the whole Church. Obtain for us the grace of a living faith, a sincere loyalty to the Church, acceptance of all her teachings, and obedience to all her precepts. Let us thus enjoy an undisturbed peace on earth and everlasting happiness in heaven. Amen.