Biography of San Pedro:- He was a fisherman of the Sea of Galilee, until he left his house in Capernaum to join the disciples of Jesus in the first moments of his preaching; along with him were other fishermen of the locality, like his own brother Andrew and the two sons of Zebedee, Santiago and Juan, all of whom were part of the original nucleus of the twelve apostles.
Biography of San Pedro
- Born:- 21 July 1654, Visayas, Philippines
- Died:- 2 April 1672, Tumon
- Nationalty:- Philippine
- Parents:- Pablo Calungsod
- Beatified:- 5 March 2000
- Major Shrines:- Cebu Archdiocesan Shrine of Saint Pedro Calungsod, Dionisio Jakosalem Street
St. Peter had no studies, but he soon distinguished himself among the disciples by his strong personality and his closeness to the master, frequently becoming the spokesman for the group. Through the Gospels a very complete profile of his personality can be traced. Pedro is simple, generous and impulsive in his interventions, which sometimes denote a misunderstanding of the authentic message of the teacher. Jesus, on the other hand, shows by Simon a predilection that appears from the first encounter. Together with James and John, Peter participated in the whole activity of Jesus, even attending to intimate episodes of which the other apostles were excluded. At Capernaum Jesus was often the guest of the family from which Peter’s wife came.
Peter’s nickname was put to him by Jesus as the “stone” (Petra in Latin) on which he would build his Church. At Caesarea Philippius, northeast of Lake Tiberias, the episode occurred in which St. Peter affirmed the divinity of Jesus: “Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). Jesushe judged the affirmation as an effect of illumination from on high and conferred upon Peter the highest authority: “Blessed art thou, Simon son of Jonah, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven And I say unto thee , Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church: the gates of hell shall not prevail against it: I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on the earth shall also be bound in the heavens , and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon the earth, it shall be loosed in heaven also “(Matthew 16: 17-19).
An impetuous and sincere personality, San Pedro also had moments of weakness. According to the Gospel account, St. Peter denied three times to know Jesus the night he was arrested, fulfilling a prophecy that the master had done; but repentant of that denial, his faith no longer faltered, and after the crucifixion and resurrection, he was privileged with the first appearance of Jesus and dedicated himself to propagate his teachings.
After Jesus’ death (about 30 AD), St. Peter became the undisputed leader of the tiny community of the first Christian believers in Palestine for fifteen years: he led the prayers, answered the accusations of heresy launched by orthodox rabbis and admitted to new adherents (including the first non-Jews).
By the year 44 he was imprisoned by order of King Herod Agrippa, but managed to escape and left Jerusalem, devoting himself to propagate the new religion by Syria, Asia Minor and Greece. At that time, probably, his leadership was less evident, disputing to him the primacy among the Christians other apostles, like Pablo or Santiago. He attended the so-called Jerusalem Council (48 or 49), in which he supported the line of St. Paul to open up Christianity to the Gentiles, in the face of those who continued to bind him to the Jewish tradition.
The last years of the life of San Pedro are wrapped in the legend, since they can only be reconstructed from very later stories. Possibly he moved to Rome, where he would have exercised a long apostolate justification of the future seat of the Papacy: the Roman Church considers St. Peter the first of his popes. There he was arrested during the persecutions of Nero against the Christians, and died crucified. An unprepossessing tradition places his tomb on the Vatican hill, where the Emperor Constantine raised the Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul in the 4th century.
The Epistles of St. Peter
The two surviving epistles of St. Peter form part of the seven Catholic epistles in the New Testament which follow the fourteenth of St. Paul. The first was written in Greek, perhaps in 64, and is addressed to the scattered Hebrews of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia. It is dated in Babylon (V, 13), toponym which, as in the Apocalypse , indicates perhaps Rome. It emphasizes in her a similarity of thoughts, of expressions and of teachings with the epistles of San Pablo. Energetic, vehement and dense in sentences, her style is concise, elevated, authoritative and sweet at the same time.
The purpose of the letter is exhortative. In a first series of exhortations, St. Peter expounds the dignity of the Christian, the sublimity of his vocation and the sanctity of life which must be its consequence (I, 1-II, 10). From chapter II, 11 to IV, 6, with graceful comparisons, the apostle recommends obedience, patience, respect for authority, love for enemies and concord among the brethren. The third and last part (IV, 7-V, 14) contains instructions for a pure and holy life, first for all indistinctly and then for the shepherds of souls in particular. Throughout the epistle Jesus is present, with his sufferings and his counsels.
The second epistle, written apparently a few months later, is presented as a continuation of the first and is addressed to the same persons, as the author states with the words “Here is the second letter that I write to you” (III, 1). It is generally presumed that St. Peter dictated it shortly before his martyrdom, as can be deduced from section I, 14. In the first part (I, 1-21), St. Peter recalls the general principles according to which Christians should tenaciously stick to the doctrine received and to the practice of the virtues. In the second (II, 1-22) he condemns the maxims and customs of the false doctors, whose perversion of mind and heart describes in strong terms and energetic style. In the last (III, 1-13),
Literary beauties abound more in this second epistle than in the first. The style is vigorous, often impetuous, and throughout it is noticed a special vividness and an impressive splendor of metaphors. A certain diversity of style between this letter and the preceding one has cast doubt on its authenticity; the Church, however, received it in the Tridentine canon, including it among the Catholic epistles of the New Testament.