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St. Peter’s Chair at Antioch

The Chair of Saint Peter

Saint Peter’s Chair at Antioch

In the earlier centuries of the Church, there are records of two feasts of the Chair of St. Peter, acknowledging his authority over the Church: one feast on February 22nd, and one on January 18th. For a long time St. Peter’s Chair was celebrated only on February 22nd, but in the sixteenth century Pope Paul IV restored the ancient feast of January 18th as St. Peter’s Chair at Rome, specifically as a counter to Protestant denial of papal authority. February 22nd was maintained as the feast of St. Peter’s Chair at Antioch, honoring the seven years Peter spent as bishop of that ancient and venerable city, one of the three great Patriarchal Sees after Rome and Alexandria. In the 1960 Roman Calendar, which summarily deleted many ancient feasts and commemorations in a foretaste of later liturgical changes, the two feasts were combined again on February 22nd, and the January 18th feast removed.

 

Traditional Roman Martyrology for February 22nd

THE Chair of St. Peter at Antioch, where the disciples were first called Christians.

At Hierapolis, in Phrygia, blessed Papias, bishop of that city, who had been, with St. Polycarp, a disciple of St. John in his old age.

At Salamis, in Cyprus, St. Aristion, who the same Papias says was one of the seventy-two disciples of Christ.

In Arabia, the commemoration of many holy martyrs who were barbarously put to death under the emperor Galerius Maximian.

At Alexandria, St. Abilius, bishop, who was the second pastor of that city after St. Mark, and administered his charge with eminent piety.

At Vienna, St. Paschasius, bishop, celebrated for his learning and holy life.

At Cortona, in Tuscany, St. Margaret, of the Third Order of St. Francis, whose body miraculously remained incorrupt for more than four centuries, giving forth a sweet odor, and producing frequent miracles. It is honored in that place with great devotion.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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