Feast Day – 29 June (with St Paul)
Simon Peter was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus and the first bishop of Rome. Peter is featured prominently in the New Testament Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles and is venerated as a saint and the first Pope. The son of John, he was from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee. His brother Andrew was also an apostle.
Peter was one of twelve apostles chosen by Jesus from his first disciples. Originally a fisherman, he was assigned a leadership role and was with Jesus during events witnessed by only a few apostles, such as the Transfiguration. According to the Gospels, he confessed Jesus as the Messiah, was part of Jesus’ inner circle, walked on water, denied Jesus and preached on the day of Pentecost.
According to Christian tradition, Peter is said to have been crucified in Rome under Emperor Nero Augustus Caesar. It is traditionally held that he was crucified upside down at his own request, since he saw himself unworthy to be crucified in the same way as Jesus Christ. Catholic tradition holds that Saint Peter’s site of crucifixion is located in the Clementine Chapel, while his mortal bones and remains are contained in the underground Confessio of St. Peter’s Basilica, where Pope Paul VI announced the excavated discovery of a first-century Roman cemetery in 1968. Every June 29 since 1736, a statue of Saint Peter has been crowned in St. Peter’s Basilica with a papal tiara, ring of the fisherman and papal vestments, as part of the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul.