Simon Peter

Born in Bethsaida in Galilee, be was a fisherman and was named by Jesus Christ "Cephas" (in Greek, Peter), and called to be a fisher of men, an Apostle. In all lists of the Twelve he is named first, and belonged to the inner group of Apostles.

He was present at the Transfiguration and at the Agony of Christ. When he professed his belief that Jesus is the Christ, the Lord promised that "Thou art Peter and on this rock will I build My Church", meaning on the rock of faith in the Savior. Peter's confession of faith was soon followed by a sharp rebuke, from the Lord. Peter said that he would never leave his Lord, and was answered by the prediction of his triple denial, which later took place. Later, Peter made reparation for his triple denial by a triple protestation of love.

 

After the Ascension, Peter took the leadership of the Apostles. He spoke on the day of Pentecost and was the first to perform a miracle in the name of Jesus. He accepted Cornelius for baptism and thus opened the Church to the Gentiles. His authority is evident at the Apostles' Council at Jerusalem, although Paul rebuked him for giving in to the demands of the Jewish Christians to disassociate himself from the Gentiles.

 

Peter is the founder of the Church in Antioch. He probably went to Rome and was crucified head downward during the reign of Nero (54-68).