November 2011: St. Peter

Simon Peter is known for many things—most notably for being one of Jesus’ disciples and for being the first Pope. He loved Jesus very much, and when he was crucified by the Roman Emperor Nero for being a Christian, he asked that he be crucified upside down because he felt that he was not worthy to be crucified in the same manner as his savior.

There are many scripture readings in the Bible about the relationship between Jesus and Simon Peter. In the book of Matthew, Jesus tells Simon, “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-19) This is why the symbol of St. Peter is the keys of heaven.

St. Peter’s feast day is June 26, and St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome is one of the holiest shrines in the Catholic Church. St. Peter is the patron saint of people in many traditional professions, including bakers, butchers, locksmiths, and fishermen—since Simon Peter worked as a fisherman until Jesus asked him to become a fisher of men.