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Monday, February 22, 2010

The Chair of St. Peter


February 22
Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter
(in the Roman calendar since 354 AD)

The ancient chair of St. Peter
is enshrined inside the reliquary, photographed above.
The reliquary is itself also in the form of a chair
held aloft by Four Fathers of the Church.

The ancient Chair of Peter
Cathedra Petri

To celebrate the "Chair" of Peter,
as we do today,
means,
to to recognize in it a privileged sign of the good and eternal Shepherd,
who wants to gather the whole of his Church
and guide her along the way of salvation.

Among so many testimonies of the Fathers,
I would like to refer to that of St. Jerome,
taken from a letter of his to the Bishop of Rome,
particularly interesting
because he makes explicit reference in fact to the "chair" of Peter,
presenting it as the safe harbor of truth and peace.

Jerome writes thus:

"I decided to consult the chair of Peter,
where that faith is found exalted by the lips of an Apostle;
I now come to ask for nourishment for my soul there,
where once you received the garment of Christ.
I follow no leader save Christ,
so I enter into communion with your Beatitude,
that is,
with the chair of Peter
for this I know is the rock upon which the Church is built! "
("Le Lettere," I, 15,1-2).

-Pope Benedict XVI, 22 February, 2006

The reliquary of the Chair of St Peter (near left)
as seen from the famous statue of St. Peter enthroned (right).

1 comment:

David said...

Let all those who keep the Chair of Peter at arm's length (either because the current occupant is not "Traditional" enough or because he is not "Progressive" enough for their liking) come with childlike trust to that Chair to seek nourishment for their soul.

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