Biblical Reference of Saint Peter
Originally called Simon, a very common Jewish name in the New Testament. He was the son of Jona. His mother is nowhere named in Scripture. He had a younger brother called Andrew, who first brought him to Jesus. His native town was Bethsaida, on the western coast of the Sea of Galilee, to which also Philip belonged. Here he was brought up by the shores of the Sea of Galilee and was trained to the occupation of a fisher. His father had probably died while he was still young, and he and his brother were brought up under the care of Zebedee and his wife Salome. There the four youths, Simon, Andrew, James, and John, spent their boyhood and early manhood in constant fellowship. Simon and his brother doubtless enjoyed all the advantages of religious training and were early instructed in an acquaintance with the Scriptures and with the great prophecies regarding the coming of the Messiah. However, they did not probably enjoy, any special training in the study of the law under any of the rabbis. When Peter appeared before the Sanhedrin, he looked like an “unlearned man”.
Jesus at once recognized Simon, and declared that hereafter he would be called Cephas, an Aramaic name corresponding to the Greek Petros, which means “a mass of rock detached from the living rock.” The Aramaic name does not occur again, but the name Peter gradually displaces the old name Simon, though our Lord himself always uses the name Simon when addressing him. We are not told what impression the first interview with Jesus produced on the mind Simon. When we next meet him it is by the Sea of Galilee. There the four (Simon and Andrew, James and John) had had an unsuccessful night’s fishing. Jesus appeared suddenly, and entering into Simon’s boat, bade him launch forth and let down the nets. He did so and enclosed a great multitude of fishes. This was plainly a miracle wrought before Simon’s eyes. The awe-stricken disciple cast himself at the feet of Jesus, crying, “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord”. Jesus addressed him with the assuring words, “Fear not,” and announced to him his life’s work. Simon responded at once to the call to become a disciple, and after this, we find him in constant attendance on our Lord.
He is next called into the rank of the apostleship, and becomes a “fisher of men” in the stormy seas of the world of human life, and takes a more and more prominent part in all the leading events of our Lord’s life. It is he who utters that notable profession of faith at Capernaum, and again at Caesarea Philippi. This profession at Caesarea was one of supreme importance, and our Lord in response used these memorable words: “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock, I will build my church.”
Saint Peter was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ and the first leader of the early Church. Additional names for Peter in the Bible include “Simon, Simeon Peter, and Cephas.” The gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke list Peter as the very first disciple called on by Jesus, followed closely by Peter’s brother Andrew, then James, and John. Peter’s journey to an apostle of Christ is found throughout the New Testament. According to church tradition, the gospel of Mark is actually a collaboration with John and Mark, who wrote it as a summarizing of Peter’s life. Then, Peter’s difficulty of spreading the Good News is found in the Book of Acts, and he wrote two letters to new Christians which were adopted into the Bible.
Bible Verses on Saint Peter
Matthew 4:18-19 “While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’”
Matthew 14:28-29 “And Peter answered him, “Lord if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.”
Matthew 16:22-23 “And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you. But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
Matthew 17:1, 4 “And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
Matthew 18:21 “Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?”
Matthew 26:33, 35 “Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away. Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same”
Matthew 26:75 “And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.”
Acts 2:37-38 “Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do? And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Patron Saint of Popes and locksmiths
As the traditional first pope of the Roman Catholic Church, St. Peter has a long list of places, occupations, and causes under his patronage. He is the patron saint of popes and of Rome and of many cities that bear his names, such as St. Petersburg and Saint-Pierre. As a former fisherman, he is the patron saint of net makers, shipbuilders, and fishermen, and, because he holds the “keys of heaven,” he is also the patron saint of locksmiths. Possibly because he is said to have walked on water with Jesus, he is the patron saint of cobblers and of those with foot problems.
Miracles of Saint Peter
The Apostle Peter’s first miracle recorded in Scripture is in Acts chapter 3. We would do well if we surveyed that account and explained its elements. In doing so, we will better understand what Peter’s ministry, and that of the 12 apostles, is all about.
We read in Acts 3:1-11: “ Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.  And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;  Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.  And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.  And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.  Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have to give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.  And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.  And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.  And all the people saw him walking and praising God:  And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.  And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.”
How did Saint Peter die?
The Bible doesn’t tell us how the apostle Saint Peter died. The most commonly accepted church tradition is that Saint Peter was crucified upside-down in Rome. Tradition says that, when Saint Peter was put to death, he requested to be crucified on an inverted cross. The reason for his request was that, because he had denied his Lord, he did not consider himself worthy to die as Jesus had (see Matthew 26:33–35, 69–75 ). Again, this is only a tradition, and the Bible doesn’t confirm or deny the story.
What we do know for sure about Saint Peter’s death is Jesus’ prophecy in John 21:18–19. “‘Very truly I tell you when you were younger you dressed and went where you wanted, but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.’ Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Saint Peter would glorify God.”
Jesus foretold the manner of Saint Peter’s death, perhaps to prepare him for the circumstances he would face now that his Lord had been resurrected and would no longer be with him physically. Jesus reminded Saint Peter that, in the past (“when you were younger”), Saint Peter had a certain amount of freedom to come and go as he pleased. The day was coming when that would no longer be the case. “When you are old” does not necessarily mean Saint would live to a ripe old age. In fact, ancient writers say that Saint Peter was put to death about thirty-four years after Jesus’ prophecy. Saint Peter’s precise age at that time is not known.
The means of death for Saint Peter—crucifixion—was also predicted by the Lord. “Stretching out” his hands could easily be interpreted as Saint Peter dying on a cross with his arms outstretched. Some historians point to the fact that the Romans also used stocks as an instrument of torture; in the stocks, a prisoner’s hands were stretched on the crosspiece. Whatever the manner of his execution, it is clear that Saint Peter was at the mercy of others who in some way tied him and carried him to his death.
In spite of the gruesome details Saint Peter heard about his death, he must have taken comfort and joy in hearing that his death would glorify God. Saint Peter’s love for Jesus and his desire to obey and glorify Him were evident throughout the rest of his life and ministry. For Saint Peter to die a martyr’s death clinging to the hope of heaven testifies to the courage, faith, patience, and perseverance of this great man of God who rejoiced to be counted worthy to die for the name of Jesus.