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Friday, February 22, 2013
Feast of Saint Peter's Chair at Antioch
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Greater Double (1955 Calendar): February 22

Today is the Feast of Saint Peter's Chair at Antioch since it is February 22nd. 

The Church celebrates the Feast of St. Peter's Chair at Rome on January 18th of each year.  The feast of the Chair of Saint Peter at Antioch follows and commemorates his foundation of the See of Antioch. At each place, a chair (cathedra) was venerated which the Apostle had used while presiding at Mass.  It is still done to this day.

This feast commemorates the seven years during which Pope Peter ruled the Church from Antioch before he went to Rome. Since the majority of the Jews had rejected Christianity, Peter left Jerusalem and founded the see of Antioch among the Gentiles. In that large Eastern city, Christianity took deep root, and it was there that the faithful were first called by the name of Christians. After seven years the Vicar of Christ transferred his see to Rome, the very center of the ancient world so that from it the messengers of salvation might radiate to the uttermost ends of the earth.

Traditionally January 18th is the Feast of St. Peter's Chair at Rome and Feb 22 is St. Peter's Chair at Antioch. The two feasts were included in the Tridentine Calendar with the rank of Double, which Pope Clement VIII raised in 1604 to the newly invented rank of Greater Double. In 1960 Pope John XXIII removed from the General Roman Calendar the January 18 feast of the Chair of Peter, along with seven other feast days that were second feasts of a single saint or mystery. The February 22 celebration became a Second-Class Feast. This calendar was incorporated in the 1962 Roman Missal. For those Catholics who follow the pre-1955 Missal and Office, they will keep today's Feast of St. Peter's Chair at Rome.

Prayer (1962 Collect): 

O God, You have entrusted the keys of the kingdom of heaven to Your blessed apostle Peter and have given him the power of bishop to bind or to loose. May his intercession free us from the slavery of sin; who lives and rules with God the Father . . .

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