Saint Peter

Saint PeterSimon, a fisherman from Bethsaida; was called by Jesus together with his brother Andrew, while washing the nets on the shore, by the lake of Genessaret. Jesus changed his name to Peter, which means Rock, explaining that on him he would build his church. He was appointed the firstamong the twelve by the Lord and charged to feed “his lambs and his sheep”.On Pentecost, he is the one to preach to the crowds the resurrection of the Lord and he is the first to state that the Good News is to be preached to Jews and pagans alike. He was imprisoned by Herod Agrippa I and miraculously delivered. He presided over the first official meeting of the Apostles (49 – 50 A.D.) and visited the church in Antioch (Antakya) considered to be the first See of Peter. He came to Rome, and here, as bishop of Rome, bearing witness to Christ, he was crucified, head downwards, on the Vatican hill under Nero around the year 67 A.D. His remains were found, after long and meticulous excavations, under the main altar of the Vatican Basilica. He wrote two letters to the Christian churches, mainly made up of converts from paganism, that reflect a time of trial through which these churches were passing, emphasizing the need of fortitude in persecution.