Skip to comments.Today's the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter
Posted on 02/22/2006 5:46:13 AM PST by Teˇfilo
From today's Office of Readings - A Reading From a sermon by Saint Leo the Great, pope
The Church of Christ rises on the firm foundation of Peter's faith
Out of the whole world one man, Peter, is chosen to preside at the calling of all nations, and to be set over all the apostles and all the fathers of the Church. Though there are in Gods people many shepherds, Peter is thus appointed to rule in his own person those whom Christ also rules as the original ruler. Beloved, how great and wonderful is this sharing of his power that God in his goodness has given to this man. Whatever Christ has willed to be shared in common by Peter and the other leaders of the Church, it is only through Peter that he has given to others what he has not refused to bestow on them.
The Lord now asks the apostles as a whole what men think of him. As long as they are recounting the uncertainty born of human ignorance, their reply is always the same. But when he presses the disciples to say what they think themselves, the first to confess his faith in the Lord is the one who is first in rank among the apostles. Peter says: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus replies: Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona, for flesh and blood has not revealed it to you, but my Father who is in heaven. You are blessed, he means, because my Father has taught you. You have not been deceived by earthly opinion, but have been enlightened by inspiration from heaven. It was not flesh and blood that pointed me out to you, but the one whose only-begotten Son I am.
He continues: And I say to you. In other words, as my Father has revealed to you my godhead, so I in my turn make known to you your pre-eminence. You are Peter: though I am the inviolable rock, the cornerstone that makes both one, the foundation apart from which no one can lay any other, yet you also are a rock, for you are given solidity by my strength, so that which is my very own because of my power is common between us through your participation.
And upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. On this strong foundation, he says, I will build an everlasting temple. The great height of my Church, which is to penetrate the heavens, shall rise on the firm foundation of this faith.
The gates of hell shall not silence this confession of faith; the chains of death shall not bind it. Its words are the words of life. As they lift up to heaven those who profess them, so they send down to hell those who contradict them. Blessed Peter is therefore told: To you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth is also bound in heaven. Whatever you lose on earth shall be loosed also in heaven.
The authority vested in this power passed also to the other apostles, and the institution established by this decree has been continued in all the leaders of the Church. But it is not without good reason that what is bestowed on all is entrusted to one. For Peter received it separately in trust because he is the prototype set before all the rulers of the Church.
- Source: Universalis.com
Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo Ecclesiam meam.
Perugino, Christ Handing the Keys to Peter, Sistine Chapel
.....off to hang my Vatican flag....
Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also wish to go away?"
Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God."
When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to them, "Children, have you caught anything to eat?" They answered him, "No."
So He said to them, "Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something." So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish.
So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord." When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea.
The other disciples came in the boat, for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards, dragging the net with the fish.
When they climbed out on shore, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread.
Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you just caught."
So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore full of one hundred fifty-three large fish. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.
Jesus said to them, "Come, have breakfast." And none of the disciples dared to ask Him, "Who are you?" because they realized it was the Lord.
Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them, and in like manner the fish.
This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to His disciples after being raised from the dead.
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs."
He then said to him a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep."
He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was distressed that He had said to him a third time, "Do you love me?" and he said to Him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep.
Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go."
He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, "Follow me."
St. Peter's Church (interior)
Antioch played a large role in the early spread of the Gospel of Christ. After Stephen was stoned, many disciples fled to Antioch in order to escape persecution and then preached the Gospel to Jews there (Acts 8:1; 11:19). Other disciples soon arrived in Antioch and preached the Gospel to Greeks (11:20-21). Later the church in Antioch sent Paul and Barnabas on the first missionary journey (Acts 13). Paul began and ended his second missionary journey in Antioch, accompanied by Silas (Acts 15:36-41; 18:22). He started his third missionary journey from the city as well (Acts 18:22-23).
That Saint Peter, before he went to Rome, founded the see of Antioch is attested by many Saints of the earliest times, including Saint Ignatius of Antioch and Saint Clement, Pope. It was just that the Prince of the Apostles should take under his particular care and surveillance this city, which was then the capital of the East, and where the faith so early took such deep roots as to give birth there to the name of Christians. There his voice could be heard by representatives of the three largest nations of antiquity — the Hebrews, the Greeks and the Latins. Saint Chrysostom says that Saint Peter was there for a long period; Saint Gregory the Great, that he was seven years Bishop of Antioch. He did not reside there at all times, but governed its apostolic activity with the wisdom his mandate assured.
If as tradition affirms, he was twenty-five years in Rome, the date of his establishment at Antioch must be within three years after Our Saviour’s Ascension, for he would have gone to Rome in the second year of Claudius. He no doubt left Jerusalem when the persecution which followed Saint Steven’s martyrdom broke out (Acts 8:1), and remained in Antioch until he escaped miraculously from prison and from the hands of Herod Agrippa, while in Jerusalem in 43 at the time of the Passover. (Acts 12) Knowing he would be pursued to Antioch, his well-known center of activity, he went to Rome.
In the first ages it was customary, especially in the East, for every Christian to observe the anniversary of his Baptism. On that day each one renewed his baptismal vows and gave thanks to God for his heavenly adoption. That memorable day they regarded as their spiritual birthday. The bishops similarly kept the anniversary of their consecration, as appears from four sermons of Saint Leo the Great on the anniversary of his accession to the pontifical dignity. These commemorations were frequently continued by the people after their bishops’ decease, out of respect for their memory. The feast of the Chair of Saint Peter was instituted from very early times. Saint Leo says we should celebrate the Chair of Saint Peter with no less joy than the day of his martyrdom, for as in the latter he was exalted to a throne of glory in heaven, by the former he was installed Head of the Church on earth.
Reflection: On this festival we are especially bound to adore and thank the divine Goodness for the establishment and propagation of His Church, and to pray earnestly that in His mercy He will preserve it and extend its dominion, so that His name may be glorified by all nations and all hearts even to the boundaries of the earth.
Good to see you back in the forum ... missed you.
Wow. I'm pleasantly surprised. I thought for sure that the topic of this thread would spark a firestorm from our Separated Brethren! It's good that it hasn't. The one on indulgences has run on for five days now, and the "Where Have All the Protestants Gone" thread is STILL going, 1300+ posts and 10,000+ readings later. We could all use a break!
Way to go, Teofilo!
Our priest at this afternoon's 5:15 pm Mass asked us "Where the Chair of Peter is," and I'm afraid we all missed it. Then he told us about Antioch, and o fhow he'd visited it imself not so man yeyars ago.
Teofilo, your photography is hereby pronounced "outta sight!"
Credit for the picture of the cathedra at St. John Lateran should go to Freeper "Carolina"; credit for the pictures of St. Peter's Church in Antioch should go to Freeper "NYer." I'll just take the initial credit, thank you. ;-)
Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle
This feast brings to mind the mission of teacher and pastor conferred by Christ on Peter, and continued in an unbroken line down to the present Pope. We celebrate the unity of the Church, founded upon the Apostle, and renew our assent to the magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, extended both to truths which are solemnly defined "ex cathedra" and to all the acts of the ordinary magisterium.
Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003
You have built Your Church
on the rock of Saint Peter's confession of faith.
May nothing divide or weaken
our unity in faith and love.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.
First Reading: 1 Peter 5:1-4
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ as well as a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed. Tend the flock of God that is your charge, not by constraint but willingly, not for shameful gain but eagerly, not as domineering over those in your charge but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd is manifested you will obtain the unfading crown of glory.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 16:13-19
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, "Who do men say that the Son of man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
Related Link on Vatican Website: