Friday, February 22, 2013
Feast of Saint Peter's Chair at Antioch
edit_button


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.

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 . . .

Commemoration of St. Paul (since whenever the Collect is made in honor of St. Peter, one is always added to St. Paul, and vice versa):

O God, you have instructed many nations through the preaching of the blessed apostle Paul. Let the power of his intercession with You help us who venerate his memory this day. Through Our Lord . . .

Reflection from The Liturgical Year of Dom Gueranger:

We are called upon, a second time, to honour St. Peter’s chair: first, it was his pontificate in Rome; to-day, it is his episcopate at Antioch. The seven years spent by the prince of the apostles in the second of these cities, were the grandest glory she ever had; and they are too important a portion of the life of St. Peter to be passed by without being noticed in the Christian cycle.

Three years had elapsed since our Lord’s Ascension. The Church had already been made fruitful by martyrdom, and from Jerusalem she had spread into distant countries. Antioch, the first of the cities of Asia, had received the Gospel; and it was there that those who professed the faith of Jesus were first called Christians. Jerusalem was doomed to destruction for having not only refused to acknowledge, but even crucified, the Messias: it was time for Peter, in whom resided the supreme power, to deprive the faithless city of the honour she had heretofore enjoyed, of possessing within her walls the chair of the apostolate. It was towards the Gentiles that the Holy Spirit drove those clouds, which were shown to Isaias as the symbol of the holy apostles.[1] Accordingly, it is in Antioch, the third capital of the Roman Empire, that Peter first places the august throne, on which, as vicegerent of Christ, he presides over the universal Church.

But the progress of the apostles was so rapid; the conquests they made, in spite of every opposition, were so extensive, that the vicar of Christ was inspired to leave Antioch, after he had honoured it with the chair during the space of seven years. Alexandria, the second city of the empire, is also to be made a see of Peter; and Rome, the capital of the world, awaits the grand privilege for which God has long been preparing her. Onwards, then, does the prince advance, bearing with him the destinies of the Church; where he fixes his last abode, and where he dies, there will he have his successor in his sublime dignity of vicar of Christ. He leaves Antioch, making one of his disciples, Evodius, its bishop. Evodius succeeds Peter as bishop of Antioch; but that see is not to inherit the headship of the Church, which goes whithersoever Peter goes. He sends Mark, another of his disciples, to take possession, in his name, of Alexandria; and this Church he would have to be the second in the world, and though he has not ruled it in person, he raises it above that of Antioch. This done, he goes to Rome, where he permanently establishes that chair, on which he will live, and teach, and rule, in his successors, to the end of time.

And here we have the origin of the three great patriarchal sees, which were the object of so much veneration in the early ages: the first is Rome, invested with all the prerogatives of the prince of the apostles, which, when dying, he transmitted to her; the second is Alexandria, which owes her preeminence to Peter’s adopting her as his second see; the third is Antioch, whither he repaired in person, when he left Jerusalem to bring to the Gentiles the grace of adoption. If, therefore, Antioch is below Alexandria in rank, Alexandria never enjoyed the honour granted to Antioch, of having been governed, in person, by him whom Christ appointed to be the supreme pastor of His Church. Nothing, then, could be more just, than that Antioch should be honoured, as having, for seven years, had the privilege of being the centre of Christendom; and this is the object of to-day’s feast.

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Future Posts on A Catholic Life

Enter email address:



Copyright / Disclaimer

Copyright Notice: Unless otherwise stated, all items are copyrighted under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. If you quote from this blog, cite a link to the post on this blog in your article.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this blog are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”