Peter: our first Holy Father

Holy Fathers copy

Lord to whom shall we go?

Peter and everyone with him were completely surprised at all the fish they had caught. His partners James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were surprised too.
Jesus told Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you will bring in people instead of fish.” The men pulled their boats up on the shore. Then they left everything and went with Jesus.”
Luke 5:9-11

This post took me a while to write. It’s hard to find reliable sources for our first Holy Father.
For how great the church is at keeping records (baptism records anyone?), they aren’t on the fast track to put everything on the website in English.
Some day, you know, when there are Latin teachers all over the place and I have time (read: when I make time) I might learn how to read it. Or Aramaic or Hebrew. I’ll add those to the list.
Peter. Let’s talk Peter.
Peter, the patron saint of fishermen… and bridge makers.
Simon Peter.
His brother was Andrew the apostle, and Philip the apostle grew up (or lived) in the same town.
According  to Clement of Alexandria, Peter was married and had children. Some tradition says that Peter’s wife was martyred.
Peter was a friend of (our friend) John the Baptist. Peter and Andrew were Jewish rebels hanging out with John the Baptist before Jesus showed up.
Peter was one of the first Jesus selected to become a disciple.

Then they left everything and went with Jesus.”

Oh, what a great example.

Clearly, we can learn a lot from St. Peter, our first pope. Our first Holy Father.
Matthew 16:17-19

Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock, I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth it shall be bound also in heave; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.”

The rock and the keys really stand out to me.
Upon Peter (Cepha, rock) he built his Church. It’s interesting that people so often over look this (looking at you protestants). I guess there are different interpretations, but thank goodness we have the Church to hold on to the teachings and traditions.
Christ built his Church on Peter, and through Peter we have the Apostolic tradition. He didn’t say, upon everyone I build my Church… Upon Peter. We need our Church leaders to be Vicars of Christ for us. We need them. Christ ordered Peter to feed his sheep. We need to be feed properly.
Vatican I, Dogmatic Constitution Pastor aeternus (1870):
We teach and declare that, according to the gospel evidence, a primacy of jurisdiction over the whole Church of God was immediately and directly promised to the blessed apostle Peter and conferred on him by Christ the lord.
According to New Advent, this interpretation (the Catholic interpretation) of Christ’s words to Peter were held until the 16th century.
Church tradition holds that Peter was martyred in Rome, though there was some speculation on this.
 
Council of Ephesus, Philip, the roman legate
For “no one can be in doubt, indeed it was known in every age that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, the pillar of faith and the foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our lord Jesus Christ, the savior and redeemer of the human race, and that to this day and for ever he lives” and presides and “exercises judgment in his successors” the bishops of the Holy Roman See, which he founded and consecrated with his blood.
I would love to know more about this man that saw our Lord die, then continued Jesus’ mission. While he may have acted cowardly and denied Jesus, he was brave and continued you on.
It really is because of Peter’s strength that we have the Church… and of course, Jesus.
God Bless!
Happy Semptember!
Looking for Pope Linus? Here you go!
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One comment

  1. Pingback: Linus: our second Holy Father | Learning Mass

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