EWTN News

Saint Peter
June 21, 2019
by staff
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Author unknown

Saint Peter (c. 1AD – c. 64 AD) is mentioned so often in the New Testament — in the Gospels, in the Acts of the Apostles, and in the Epistles of St Paul — that we feel we know him better than any other person who figured prominently in the life of the Saviour. In all, his name appears 182 times. We have no knowledge of him prior to his conversion, save that he was a Galilean fisherman, from the village of Bethsaida or Capernaum. There is some evidence for supposing that Peter's brother Andrew and possibly Peter himself were followers of John the Baptist and were therefore prepared for the appearance of the Messiah in their midst. We picture Peter as a shrewd and simple man, of great power for good, but now and again afflicted by sudden weakness and doubt, at least at the outset of his discipleship. After the death of the Saviour, he manifested his primacy among the Apostles by his courage and strength. He was "the Rock" on which the Church was founded. It is perhaps Peter's capacity for growth that makes his story so inspiring to other erring human beings. He reached the lowest depths on the night when he denied the Lord, then began the climb upward, finally becoming a martyr. It is traditionally held that he was crucified upside down at his own request, since he saw himself unworthy to be crucified in the same way as Jesus.