Saint Peter was one of the original Twelve Apostles. He worked as a fisherman when he was called by Jesus Christ to become one of his apostles. By the time Jesus called him, he was given the name “Cephas” (which means “stone” in Aramaic. In Greek it means “Petros,” thus the name “Peter.”). Following Jesus’ ascension, Peter became the leader of the Apostles.
According to Christian tradition, Peter was martyred in Rome during the reign of Emperor Nero. The Roman Catholic Church sees him as the first ruler of the church, the first Pope.
St. Peter is famous for a lot of things, many of which we will tackle here in this gallery.
Peter’s true and original name was Simon. When he was called by Jesus to become one of his apostles, he was given the additional name “Cephas,” an Aramaic word which means “rock.” In Greek, it means “Petros,” thus Peter. That’s why Peter is often referred with the double name Simon Peter.
If you may have noticed, Peter’s name is mentioned first in every list of the Twelve Apostles (found in the book of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Acts). This is an indication that he may have been the leader of the Apostles.
Peter, as well as James and John, were the only disciples allowed to attend special events during Jesus’ ministry.
Simon Peter and his brother Andrew were both fishermen by trade when they were called by Jesus to be his disciples. Jesus referred to the brothers as “fishers of men.”
According to Matthew 8:14 (King James Version): “And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever,” which implies that Peter was indeed a married man. As for having children, 1 Peter 5:1 says (King James Version): “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed.” Therefore, from this verse, we know that Peter had children as he was an elder.
Simon was a fisherman by trade in Galilee, whom Jesus made a fisher of men (together with his brother Andrew, who was also a fisherman).
Peter asked a lot more questions than all of his other fellow disciples combined.
In the first half of the Acts, Peter did a lot of things, including:
– leading the believers in choosing the twelfth position vacated by Judas Iscariot following his betrayal of Jesus
– preaching the written sermon on Pentecost
– imparting the Spirit to the Samaritans (together with John)
– raising Tabitha from the dead
– preaching to the uncircumcised Gentiles
Peter wrote Peter 1 and 2. He was also a great influence on the gospel of Mark.
You can find a reference to Peter’s martyrdom in John 21:18-19 (King James Version):
(18) Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.
(19) This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.
Simon was Peter’s original name until the moment where he was called by Jesus to be his disciple. Jesus gave him the name Cephas, the Aramaic word which means “rock.” “Cephas” is equivalent to “Petros” in Greek, hence “Peter.”
When Jesus founded his Church, he chose 12 men to be his disciples. Matthew 10:2 says: “Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: the first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother.”
Despite Andrew is actually the first one who knew Jesus before his Peter did (as said in John 1:35-42), Matthew still called Peter “the first” because he was the leader, the chief of the Apostles. Being “the first” doesn’t really mean the “who’s the one who knew Christ first.”
It doesn’t mean though that Peter, James, and John were special or were the Lord’s favorites. Rather, it may imply that they became part of the Lord’s inner circle probably because these three were seen as the weakest disciples. Therefore, they needed a little more attention.
John 1:42 (King James Version) gives an account on this incident: “And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.”
Naturally, his brother Andrew was also from Bethsaida, as well as Philip who was also one of the original Twelve Apostles.
Capernaum was a fishing village on the northern shores of the Sea of Galilee. It also witnessed the many remarkable things that Jesus did during his time. It was at Peter’s house in Capernaum where Jesus healed a paralytic and Peter’s mother-in-law.
As said in Mark (King James Version): “And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.”
On these accounts told by Matthew 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36, Jesus and his three disciples Peter, James, and John go up a mountain where they will pray. There, Jesus begins to shine with a very bright, and later the prophets Moses and Elijah miraculously appear at his side. Jesus speaks with them. A voice from heaven, assumed to be from God the Father, calls Jesus his “beloved Son.” Peter, John and James hear the voice and become so afraid that they fall “on their face.” But Jesus comes to them and tells them that “do not be afraid.” And when all of them come down from the mountain, Jesus instructs to his three apostles not to tell anyone of the vision, until He has risen from the dead.
The Transfiguration saw the glorification of Jesus Christ. Moses’ and Elijah’s appearance with Jesus further confirmed that He was the one whom the Commandments and the prophets spoke. God’s favorable confirmation helped Jesus’ identity come to light.
Luke 24:34 refers to Peter’s witnessing of Christ’s ascension into heaven, “Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.”
Peter went out to the streets to preach the Gospel in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14-36), where 3,000 unbelievers turned to Christ on that day.
This demonstrates Peter’s significance within the Christian community in its early days.
Saint Peter is known for his preaching, also known as Kerygma Petri or KP. Today they have survived only in remnants as series of quotations from Clement of Alexandria (a pagan-turned-Christian apologist who also authored other several theological works) and Origen, another theologian who also worked alongside Clement.