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Saint Peter

The most important of the apostles; Jesus Christ named him his representative and Peter therefore became the church’s first bishop. His original name was Simon and he was a fisherman, as was his brother Saint Andrew; Jesus called on both of them to become his disciples and named Simon Peter, the rock, on which he would build his church. Although Peter denied Jesus, Jesus again confirmed the primacy of his position after his resurrection. During his later journeys, Peter travelled as far as Rome with Mark the evangelist and there the emperor Nero condemned them both to a martyr’s death; they were buried on the site of what is now St. Peter’s Basilica. Peter’s leading position among the apostles was inherited by the Roman bishopric. He is normally represented with a beard and balding, he holds the keys to the heavenly gates in his hands; elsewhere he is depicted with a fish, a boat or a cock (which crowed three times, once for each time Peter denied Christ). He is the patron of the Pope and the Church, butchers, glass blowers, carpenters, watchmakers, locksmiths, blacksmiths, potters, masons, stonemasons, drapers, mariners and many other professions, as well as castaways, penitents and virgins; he also protects against snakebite and theft, helps during fever, obsession, pain and brings long life.

 

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