Simon, the fisherman from Bethsaida and brother of Andrew, was probably the oldest. Andrew, a follower of John the Baptist, heard John testify about Jesus after he had baptized him, “…this is God’s Chosen One.” John 1:34 Andrew then followed Jesus and spent the day with him. (John 1:37-39) After, Andrew told his brother Simon about Jesus.
Later Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee watching the fishermen brothers, and called them to become “fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19), and they dropped their nets to follow Him.
The Calling of the Apostles Peter and Andrew by Duccio di Buoninsegna, 1308-1311
Later they visited the house where Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from fever, and Jesus cured her. (Mark 1:30-31) This was the first cure witnessed by Simon. He was to see many miracles, for he stayed close to Jesus during His ministry.
When Jesus asked “Who do you say that I am?” Simon answered “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “…You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church.” Matthew 16:15-18
Statue of Peter in Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee
“THOU ART PETER, AND UPON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH.”
Capernaum is the town where Jesus lived
The Catholic Church considers Peter to be the first Pope. Peter played a leadership role and was with Jesus during events witnessed by only a few disciples, such as the Transfiguration.
Saint Peter as Pope by Peter Paul Rubens, c. 1610-12, Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain
According to the gospels, Peter confessed Jesus as the Messiah, was part of Jesus’ inner circle, three times denied Jesus, and preached on the day of Pentecost.
Peter denies knowledge of Christ by A. de Paulis, c. 1640 after G. Seghers
According to Christian tradition, Peter was crucified in Rome under Emperor Nero Augustus Caesar. He was crucified upside down at his own request. His relics remain under Saint Peter’s Basilica. According to Catholic doctrine, the direct successor to Saint Peter is Pope Francis.
Saint Peter is the patron saint of fishermen, bridge builders, butchers, harvesters, net makers, locksmiths, clock & watch makers, shipwrights, longevity, feet problems, popes and the Universal Church.
Saint Peter’s feast day is June 29.
praise him forever for he is a great Apostle.