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Saint Peter

Introduction

Peter, Saint, d. A.D. 64?, most prominent of the Twelve Apostles, listed first in the Gospels, and traditionally the first bishop of Rome. His original name was Simon, but Jesus gave him the nickname Cephas [Aramaic,  =  rock], which was translated into Greek as Petros [Gr. petra   =  rock]. Peter was a native of Bethsaida and the brother of St. Andrew; he was married. He and Andrew, both fishermen, were called by Jesus to be disciples at the same time as James and John, the sons of Zebedee (Mark 1.16–20, 29–31; 3.14–16; Luke 5.1–11; John 1.40–44). There are several feasts of St. Peter in the West: St. Peter and St. Paul, June 29; the Chair of St. Peter, Apostle, Feb. 22; and St. Peter in Chains, Aug. 1. A second feast commemorating the Chair of St. Peter (i.e., his episcopal throne) was celebrated on Jan. 18 until abolished in 1960.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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