Icon Akimov 102.116 «St. Peter the Apostle. Guardian Angel»
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"Apostle Peter, named Simon in former times, was a son of a fisherman Jonas from Bethsaida, and a brother of Saint Andrew the Apostle, who led him to Christ. St. Peter was married, had a house in Capernaum and earned his living by fishery. Among the Apostles he stood out for his peculiar devotion to Christ and belief in Him. He was the first to profess faith in Him as in Messiah, and was for that renamed “Peter” (rock) by Jesus to indicate that Peter would be the rock-like foundation on which the Church would be built that would not be overpowered by hell-gate.
But the Gospel tells that even the Disciple so dear to Christ close has repudiated Him thrice when the warriors has arrested Him and has begun to look for His co-workers. Peter washed his three-repeated repudiation with poignant repentant tears, and after Resurrection the Lord restored him in apostolic rank, three times, by the number of repudiations, charging him to shepherd His sheep and lambs.
About the Apostolic service of there is narrated in the Acts of the Apostles Book, parts 1-12. It tells that after the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles Peter was the fist to preach before people, and by his ardent speech converted to Christ 3000 persons. After a while having healed lame man from birth he converted to the belief 5000 Hebrews more. Spiritual power, which came from him, was so high that even his shadow spreading above sick persons on a street healed them (Acts 5, 15).
Herod Agrippa I, the grandson of Herod the Great, in 42 P.C. году после Р. X. raised persecution of Christians. He killed Apostle James, the son of Zebedee, and dungeoned Peter. Christians foreseeing execution of the Holy one wrestled with God for him. A miracle occurred in the night: the God's angel descended to the dungeon, and Peter shackles fell down, and doors opened; and Peter made his way out unhindered. Until now one of those chains is kept in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, being carried out for people adoration on January 29 (16). After the miraculous liberation Peter the Apostle is mentioned in Acts only once more: in the story about the Council of Apostles.
Other information about Peter remained in Ecclesiastical Legends. Known it is that he preached the Gospel in Antioch at the Mediterranean shore, in Asia Minor, in Egypt, and in Greece (Achaia). He also evangelized in Corinth, in Rome, and in Spain, in Carthage, and in Britain. As the Legend says Apostle Mark has written his gospel for Roman Christians according to Apostle Peter words. The New Testament includes two General Epistles of Peter.
In 67 году Apostle Peter returned to Rome where was martyrized: crucified head downward because he claimed he was not worthy to die in the same manner as Christ. This event is depicted by Polish author Henryk Sienkewicz in his novel Quo Vadis (Latin for ""Where are you going?"") that alludes to a New Testament verse (John 13:36). The verse, in the King James Version, reads as follows, ""Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.""
St. Peter the Apostle is commemorated on June 12 (29), and on June 13 (30) together with the other twelve Apostles."
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