#1 - Pope St. Peter
Pope from 30-67 A.D.
Died: 67 A.D.
Give me the scoop on Peter.
St. Peter, first pope and the pearly-gate-keeper in all those jokes about heaven, hardly needs an introduction. It was to Peter whom Jesus said, "On this rock I will build my church" (Matt. 16:18), and it was Peter who consistently appeared in the Gospels as the head of the Twelve Apostles. Plus, he's the only pope who contributed directly to the Bible.
What was he known for?
Peter was, well, just a regular guy (besides the whole first-pope thing). He was a fisherman, so odds are good he was built like a linebacker, and sometimes it took him a try or two to get what Jesus was saying. And yet, we mimic Peter's intense love of the Lord when we pray, "To whom shall we go?"
Peter is seen in Scripture often speaking for the Twelve Apostles, but also walking (and sinking) on water, caring for his mother-in-law, affirming Jesus as the Messiah, and wanting to build tents on mountains (see Matt. 17:4). In statues and art, Peter is most often depicted holding a key, representing Jesus' handing to Peter the "keys to the kingdom" in the Gospel of Matthew.
can be seen in the tombs below St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. In the mid-20th Century, an excavation below the altar of St. Peter's revealed a marble repository containing bones of a man who lived around the time of Christ and, upon further tests, prompted Paul VI to say they had been "identified in a way which we can hold to be convincing" of being those of St. Peter.
Read more here.
What else was going on in the world at the time?
When Peter was pope, the Romans were pretty upset about this new Christian religion. See, worshipping the true God really cramped the Roman style of worshipping the emperor. So, Peter, the rest of the apostles, and the whole Christian Church were constantly on the run from a government that wanted to snuff them out.
Coming tomorrow....Pope St. Linus
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on Monday, January 2, 2017 at 2:00AM