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Saint Peter

By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on

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When Jesus chose his twelve apostles, he appointed Peter to lead them. Jesus made a found about his name; he said, "you are Peter [which in Latin means rock] and on this rock I will build my church," but nobody was ever less like rock than this warm-hearted and incorrigibly impulsive man. (Wendy, p 10)

Saint Peter was leader of the apostles and the first pope.

Lived ? - c 64
Feast day: June 20
Patron saint: Rome, fishermen, longevity.
Attributes: Keys, cockerel.

constantinople istanbul turkey icon st peter saint peter
Icon of St. Peter. About 1320. Constantinople. Cedar, linen, gold-leaf, gesso, paint. British Museum. PE 1983.0401.1. Image by L. M. Clancy, 2009/09/13. This icon is of the highest quality. It depicts St. Peter as an elderly man carrying a scroll. The visible passage promotes celibacy, indicating this may have been commissioned for monastery. The icon was originally much larger and was likely meant to be viewed at a distance as a prominent piece of public devotional art.

Walking on Water

There was a great storm and the apostles had to flee their boat. Jesus walked on water to the shore, and when St. Peter followed him he too walked on water; only upon questioning the rationality of the situation did he sink and Jesus rescued him.

Rescue from Prison

Toward the end if his life, Peter was imprisoned in Rome as part of his savage persecution. One night he went to sleep and dreamed that an angel took him out of the prison; doors opened miraculously and nobody saw them. However, it was only when he was led into the city and left by the angel that he realized he was not dreaming. He never thought he was so special as to receive special treatment. He has escaped so that, finally, he may die on the cross for Christ.