Chair of St. Peter
St. Peter was the prince of the apostles and the first pope. Jesus said to him, "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church" (Matthew 16:18). After Jesus went back to heaven, St. Peter preached the Gospel. He guided the small but growing Christian community. At first, Peter labored in Jerusalem and in Antioch, two big cities of the east. Later, he went to preach the Gospel in Rome, the capital of the world.
What chance did Peter have to perform his great task for the Lord? His Master had been crucified but then had risen. Who would believe that? The evils of pagan Rome would drown his voice no matter how dedicated he may be. But the Holy Spirit was alive in Peter. He courageously took up the ministry Jesus had left him. Never again would Peter deny his Lord. Never again would Peter put his own personal well-being before the good of the Church.
The feast of St. Peter's Chair at Rome reminds us that St. Peter started the Christian community in that city. The special chair is a symbol of the authority that was given to him by Jesus. Kings of old sat on thrones and ruled. Peter's chair is
a symbol of his authority from Jesus to rule the Church.
St. Peter was martyred for the faith, but down through the ages there has always been a bishop of Rome. He is the pope. The pope rules the whole Church, as St. Peter did, in Jesus' name. We call the successor of St. Peter the Holy Father.
Take a moment today to offer thanks to God for all the good that is done through the leadership of the Church.