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    Saint Peter by Vasco Fernandes, 1506. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that Peter was the first leader of the early Christian church after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. While the Church accepts apostolic succession from Peter, it rejects papal successors as illegitimate.

    • AD 30
    • John (or Jonah; Jona)
    • Between AD 64–68
    • Overview
    • The man and his position among the disciples

    In Christian tradition, St. Peter was one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus. Roman Catholic tradition holds that Jesus established St. Peter as the first pope (Matthew 16:18). Jesus also gave him “the keys of the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 16:19), which is why he is often depicted at the gates of heaven in art and popular culture. After Jesus’ death, he served as the head of the Apostles and was the first to perform a miracle after Pentecost (Acts 3:1–11). The two Letters of Peter in the Bible are attributed to his authorship, though some scholars dispute this.

    How did St. Peter die?

    St. Peter is believed to have died as a martyr for his faith. Although his death is not described in Scripture, numerous writers of the time (or shortly thereafter) described his death as having occurred in Rome during the reign of the emperor Nero in 64 CE. According to tradition, St. Peter was crucified upside down because he felt unworthy to die in the same manner as Jesus Christ.


    Read about crucifixion.

    What is St. Peter the patron saint of?

    The sources of information concerning the life of Peter are limited to the New Testament: the four Gospels, Acts, the letters of Paul, and the two letters that bear the name of Peter. He probably was known originally by the Hebrew name Simeon or the Greek form of that name, Simon. The former appears only twice in the New Testament, the latter 49 times. At solemn moments (Gospel According to John 21:15), he was called “Simon, son of John.” The Gospel According to John prefers Simon (17 times) or the compound, rarely found elsewhere, of Simon Peter. Though Paul has a distinct preference (8 times out of 10) for the Greek transliteration Kēphas (Latinized as Cephas) of the Aramaic name or title Kepa, meaning “Rock,” the Gospels and Acts use the Greek translation Petros approximately 150 times. From the Synoptic Gospels (Gospel According to Matthew 8:14) and Paul (First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians 9:5), there is indirect evidence that Peter was the son of John and was married. His family originally came from Bethsaida in Galilee (John 1:44), but during the period of Jesus’ ministry Peter lived in Capernaum, at the northwest end of the Sea of Galilee, where he and his brother St. Andrew were in partnership as fishermen with St. James and St. John, the sons of Zebedee (Gospel According to Luke 5:10).

    Much can be learned about Peter from the New Testament—either explicitly from the statements made by and about Peter or indirectly from his actions and reactions as revealed in a number of episodes in which he figures prominently. He was at times vacillating and unsure, as in his relations with the church of Antioch when he at first ate with the Gentiles and later refused to do so (Letter of Paul to the Galatians 2:11–14). He could also be resolute (Acts of the Apostles 4:10; 5:1–10). Occasionally he is depicted as rash and hasty (Luke 22:33, etc.) or irritable and capable of great anger (John 18:10). Often he is pictured as gentle but firm and, as in his professions of love to Jesus, capable of great loyalty and love (John 21:15–17).

    The New Testament reports that Peter was unlearned in the sense that he was untrained in the Mosaic Law (Acts 4:13), and it is doubtful that he knew Greek. He apparently learned slowly and erred time and time again, but later, when entrusted with responsibility, he demonstrated that he was mature and capable.

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    The Gospels agree that Peter was called to be a disciple of Jesus at the beginning of his ministry, but when and where the event took place is recorded differently in the several Gospels. Luke (5:1–11) scarcely mentions James and John and omits Andrew while emphasizing the call of Peter. Matthew (4:18–22) and Mark (Gospel According to Mark 1:16–20) note the call of the four men and—with Luke—agree that the event took place at the Sea of Galilee. The Gospel According to John places the call in Judaea (1:28) and states that Andrew—who had been a follower of St. John the Baptist (1:35) and had heard John indicate that Jesus was the Lamb of God—left John and introduced Peter to “the Messiah,” who at that time gave him the name (or title) Cephas (i.e., Peter, or Rock).

  2. Mar 12, 2021 · Saint Peter the Apostle was a well-known figure in early Christianity. Although there is no information on the life of Peter outside the Bible, in the Christian tradition, he is often depicted as the first on many occasions: the first to be called by Jesus, the first who recognized Jesus as 'the Christ', the first disciple to receive a post ...

    • Rebecca Denova
  3. Apr 2, 2019 · Learn about the life, character, and role of Peter, one of the 12 main disciples of Jesus Christ and the first pope according to Catholic tradition. Find out his name origin, fishing trade, marriage, conversion, and influence in the Bible and the early church.

  4. Who was St. Peter? How did St. Peter die? What is St. Peter the patron saint of?

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  6. Home Philosophy & Religion Religious Personages & Scholars Saints & Popes. The position of Peter in the apostolic church. Given the information supplied by the Gospels, it is not unexpected that Peter should emerge immediately after Jesus’ death as the leader of the earliest church.

  7. As the traditional first pope of the Roman Catholic Church, St. Peter has a long list of places, occupations, and causes under his patronage. He is the patron saint of popes and of Rome and of many cities that bear his name, such as St. Petersburg and Saint-Pierre.

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