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  • Writer's pictureKeith Jiron

Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter the Apostle

Today we celebrate the feast of the Chair or “Cathedra” of Saint Peter, a feast which dates back to the 3rd century. The “cathedra” is also referred to as the “seat” of the bishop which is placed in the mother church of the Diocese. From this term derives the word “cathedral” which serves as a symbol of the bishop’s authority as a successor of the Apostles.

chair of saint peter

In the case of Saint Peter, who was martyred in Rome, it was decided that Rome would be the official location of the “seat” or “cathedra” of Saint Peter. The significance of the Chair of Peter relates to the authority which Jesus gave to Peter in the Gospel. In Matthew 16:18, Jesus says to Peter, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”

As Catholics, we should find in this feast a great source of comfort. In a world where there is much confusion and uncertainty, we can be assured that what we believe in, both in terms of faith and morals, is true. This is because the Catholic Church is founded on the “rock” of Peter. This rock is embodied in the successors to Peter, our modern-day popes.

So let us rejoice in the assurance of Church’s guidance as we journey toward heaven, beset with trials and temptations. It is also comforting to know that our sins and weakness do not keep us from Christ, for the one on whom Christ founded the Church, Saint Peter, also struggled with his own weakness.

Saint Peter, pray for us!

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