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St. Peters' Chair at Rome


Name: St. Peters' Chair at Rome
Date: 18 January

Saint Peter having triumphed over the devil in the East, the latter pursued him to Rome. But hewho had formerly trembled at the voice of a poor servant girl now feared not the very throne ofidolatry and superstition. The capital of the empire of the world and the center of impiety calledfor the zeal of the Prince of the Apostles. God had established the Roman Empire and extended itsdominion beyond that of any former monarchy, to facilitate the propagation of His Gospel; and itsmetropolis was of the greatest importance for this enterprise. Saint Peter took that province uponhimself and, repairing to Rome, there preached the faith and established his ecclesiastical chair.

That Saint Peter preached in Rome, founded the Church there, and died there by martyrdomunder Nero, are incontestable facts, by the testimony of all writers of different countries who livedaround that time — persons of unquestionable veracity, who could not but be informed of thetruth in a matter so important, and of its own nature so public and notorious. This fact is verifiedby monuments of every kind, attesting the prerogatives, rights and privileges which that churchenjoyed from these early times, in consequence of its title as seat of the Vicar of Christ.

It was an ancient custom observed by churches to keep an annual festival commemorating theconsecration of their bishops, and the feast of the Chair of Saint Peter is found in ancientmartyrologies. Christians justly celebrate the founding of this mother-church, the center ofCatholic communion, in thanksgiving to God for His mercies to His Church, and to implore Hisfuture blessings for it.


Source: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints


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