Saint Peter, Chief of the Apostles

Feast Day: June 29th, June 30th & January 16th


The Life of Saint Peter: Thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build My Church…

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Synaxis of Saint Peter and Saint Paul

Feast Day: June 29th

Akathist Hymn

Apolytikion: First in prominence among the Apostles, and teachers to the Universe, intercede to the Master of All for peace in the world and for our Soul’s great mercy.

Kontakion: O Lord, receive unto the enjoyment of Your good things and Your rest, the steadfast preachers of Godly words, the pinnacle of Your Disciples. Receive their pain and death above every sacrifice, for You alone know the hearts of men.

Hymn: Peter, the leader of the glorious Apostles, the rock of faith, and Paul most sublime, the rhetor and light of the Holy Churches, you both stand before the divine Throne, entreating Christ on behalf of us.

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Synaxis of the 12 Holy Apostles

Feast Day: June 30th

Apolytikion: O Holy Apostles, intercede to our Merciful God, that He may grant our Souls forgiveness of sins.

Kontakion: O Lord, receive the steadfast and Divinely voiced preachers, the pinnacle of Your Disciples, unto their rest and the enjoyment of Your Blessings. You received, above every offering, their labours and their life. You alone know what the heart holds.

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John 1:41-42

“We have found the Messiah… And he brought him to Jesus.”

Saint Andrew proclaimed to his brother Saint Peter and to all the nations…

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Luke 9:13

But He said to them, “You give them something to eat.”

The Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish

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John 15: 5

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

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Luke 22: 19-20

And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My Body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My Blood, which is shed for you.”

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Matthew 28: 19-20

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, Baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”


Veneration of the Precious Chains of Saint Peter: January 16th

Apolytikion: Without leaving Rome, thou didst come to us by the Precious Chains which thou didst wear. O Foremost of the Apostles. And worshipping them with faith, we Pray: By thine intercessions with God, grant us great Mercy.

Kontakion: Now Christ God, the Rock, doth glorify the rock of faith, illustriously, in calling all to celebrate the dread wonders of the most Precious Chains of Peter, the first and chief of the disciples of Christ our God, Who granteth forgiveness of sins unto all.

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Saint Peter in the Gospels

Matthew 4: 18-20

And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him.

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Matthew 8:14-15

Now when Jesus had come into Peter’s house, He saw his wife’s mother lying sick with a fever. So He touched her hand, and the fever left her.

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Mark 9: 2

Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them.

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Matthew 14: 30-31

But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”. And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Prayer Toward the Unknown: O Lord, You who steadied the hand of Peter as he began to sink on the stormy sea, if You are with me, no one is against me. Grant to me the shield of faith and the mighty armour of the Holy Spirit to protect me and guide me to do Your Will. The future I put into Your hands, O Lord, and I follow You to a life in Christ. Amen.

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Luke 8: 50-51

But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.” When He came into the house, He permitted no one to go in except Peter, James, and John, and the father and mother of the girl.

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John 6: 68

But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

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John 13: 8-9

Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”

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Luke 22: 61-62

And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He has said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So Peter went out and wept bitterly.

It has been described that the face of Saint Peter seemed to be inflamed with tears. Every time he heard in his memory the sweet voice of his Lord Jesus Christ, and when he thought about how he denied Him, Saint Peter would weep with tender emotion. He always carried a towel in his bosom to wipe his tears, and every time he heard a rooster crow in the night he would rise up and Pray.

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John 20: 4-6

So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the Tomb.

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John 21: 6

And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.

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John 21: 7

Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea.

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John 21: 17

He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?”

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Acts of the Apostles 3: 6

Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”

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Acts of the Apostles 9: 40

But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up.

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Saint Peter witnessed countless Miracles of Jesus Christ, and he is depicted in Icons by the side of Christ as he watched and listened to His every word and action. Some of these Icons include the Entry of Jesus to Jerusalem, the young rich man who spoke with Christ, the poor widow donating money to the Temple, the fig tree that wilted at Christ’s word, and Christ teaching about faith the size of a mustard seed. Saint Peter also witnessed Christ healing countless people from both physical and spiritual infirmities. Some of these events mentioned in the Gospels are the healing of the Centurion’s son, the nobleman’s son, the Canaanite woman’s daughter, and some men from demonic possession. Furthermore, Saint Peter witnessed Christ healing paralytic men, blind men, a woman with a bent back, a man with a withered hand, and a woman with a constant flow of blood. Saint Peter also witnessed Christ resurrecting a widow’s son and Saint Lazarus from the dead, and the complete change of heart and way of life of Zacchaeus due to his contact with Christ and the repenting woman who wiped Jesus’ feet with her tears and hair. Also Saint Peter was present when a woman was preparing the body of Jesus for His burial by anointing Him with Myrrh, and the heartbreaking night before the arrest of Christ, when He asked His Apostles to Pray with Him but they continued to fall asleep. He also witnessed Christ’s Appearance to Saint Thomas following His Resurrection, the Glorious Ascension into Heaven, the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and the Dormition of Our Most Blessed Mary the Mother of God, her empty Tomb and the many beautiful moments surrounding this occasion.

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Saint Peter was crucified to death, but he begged his executioners to hang him upside down, because he deemed himself unworthy to have the same death as his Precious Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ.


Icons

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Below is an Icon of Saint Peter together with Saint Paul, Saint John and Saint Andrew.

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Below is an Icon of Saint Peter together with Saint Paul and Saint Paisios the Athonite.