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Saint Peter the Apostle

Who Was St. Peter the Apostle? What is Peter's Connection to the Catholic Popes?

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Saint Peter the Apostle: Who Was St. Peter the Apostle? What is Peter's Tie to the Catholic Papacy?

Saint Peter the Apostle: Who Was St. Peter the Apostle? What is Peter's Connection to the Roman Catholic Papacy?

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Peter was one of the most important of Jesus' twelve apostles. Peter is known as Simon Peter, the son of Jona (or John) and brother of Andrew. The name Peter comes from the Aramaic term for "rock" and Simon comes from the Greek for "hearing." Peter's name appears on all of the lists of apostles and his being called by Jesus appears in all three synoptic gospels as well as Acts. these texts are the only accounts of his life from this time period and are thus the most reliable source of information about him.

Most of Jesus' twelve apostles remain largely silent through the gospels; Peter, however, is often depicted speaking. He is the first to confess that Jesus is the Messiah; he is also the only one depicted actively denying Jesus later on. In the Acts of the Apostles, Peter is depicted as traveling widely to preach about Jesus.

The years of Peter's birth and death are unknown. Christian tradition has it that Peter died in Rome during the persecution of Christians around 64 CE under emperor Nero. Archaeological digs have uncovered what might be a shrine to Peter under St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, a shrine that could conceivably have been built over his grave. Traditions about Peter's martyrdom in Rome were instrumental in the development of the idea of the primacy of Rome's Christian church.

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