For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting. Saint John the Apostle

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Chair of Saint Peter


Portable chair preserved at the Vatican and believed to be a chair used by Saint Peter, the extant testimony referring to it dating from the 2nd century. The feast of the Chair of Saint Peter at Rome has been celebrated from the early days of the Christian era on 18 January, in commemoration of the day when Saint Peter held his first service in Rome. The feast of the Chair of Saint Peter at Antioch, commemorating his foundation of the See of Antioch, has also been long celebrated at Rome, on 22 February. At each place a chair (cathedra) was venerated which the Apostle had used while presiding at Mass. One of the chairs is referred to about 600 by an Abbot Johannes who had been commissioned by Pope Gregory the Great to collect in oil from the lamps which burned at the graves of the Roman martyrs. One of these phials, preserved in the cathedral treasury of Monza, Italy, had a label reading, "oleo de sede ubi prius sedit sanctus Petrus" (oils from the chair where Saint Peter first sat). The Mass for both feast days is the same; the Collect is as follows:

"Oh, God, who, together with the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven, didst bestow on blessed Peter Thy Apostle the pontificate of binding and loosing, grant that by the aid of his intercession we may be released from the yoke of our sins."

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