The Feast of the Chair of St. Peter

The Feast of the Chair of St. Peter refers to the occupant, not the chair itself and commemorates Peter being chosen by Christ as the first pope, the first one to sit as the servant-authority of the whole Church. This is the beginning of the apostolic tradition, the unbroken line of successors from Christ to Peter continuing throughout the years to our current Pope Francis.

The feast of the Chair of St. Peter has been celebrated since the early days of the Church in commemoration of the day when St. Peter held his first service in Rome. It is with love and respect for the office of the Pope that this feast was declared. Although its first occupant stumbled in his life (including denying Christ three times) and some successors have even failed scandalously, the office endures as a sign of the long tradition and a focus for the universal Church.

In the book of Matthew, Scripture records the call of Peter as our first leader. Christ first called and gathered in twelve apostles to send out into the world with His message (Mt 10: 1-2). Then from among those twelve, He chose one among them, Simon; “Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah…and so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Mt. 16:17-19)