The Feast of the Chair of St. Peter’s at Antioch
THAT St. Peter, before he went to Rome, founded the see of Antioch is attested by many Saints. It was just that the Prince of the Apostles should take this city under his particular care and inspection, which was then the capital of the East, and in which the faith took so early and so deep root as to give birth in it to the name of Christians. St. Chrysostom says that St. Peter made' there a long stay; St. Gregory the Great, that he was seven years Bishop of Antioch; not that he resided there all that time, but only that he had a particular care over that Church. If he sat twenty-five years at Rome, the date of his establishing his chair at Antioch must be within three years after Our Saviour's Ascension; for in that supposition he must have gone to Rome in the second year of Claudius. In the first ages it was customary, especially in the East, for every Christian to keep the anniversary of his Baptism, on which he renewed his baptismal vows and gave thanks to God for his heavenly adoption: this they called their spiritual birthday. The bishops in like manner kept the anniversary of their own consecration, as appears from four sermons of St. Leo on the anniversary of his accession or assumption to the pontifical dignity; and this was frequently continued after their decease by the people, out of respect for their memory. St. Leo says we ought to celebrate the chair of St. Peter with no less joy than the day of his martyrdom; for as in this he was exalted to a throne of glory in heaven, so by the former he was installed head of the Church on earth.
Reflection. —On this festival we are especially bound to adore and thank the Divine Goodness for the establishment and propagation of His Church, and earnestly to pray that in His mercy He preserve the same, and dilate its pale, that His name may be glorified by all nations, and by all hearts, to the boundaries of the earth, for His divine honor and the salvation of souls, framed to His divine image, and the price of His adorable blood. you!
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Chair of St. Peter
Introit • Eccles. 45, 30
The Lord made to him a covenant of peace, and made him a prince; that the dignity of priesthood should be to him for ever. Ps. 131, 1. O Lord, remember David, and all his meekness. Glory be …
O God, Who committing to blessed Peter, Thine apostle, the keys of the heavenly kingdom, didst bestow on him the pontifical function of binding and loosing, grant that, by the help of his intercession, we may be delivered from the bonds of our sins. Who livest.
Commemoration of St. Paul.
O God, Who by the preaching of the blessed apostle Paul didst teach the multitude of the gentiles, grant us, we pray Thee, that, honoring his commemoration, we may experience the benefit of his patronal influence with Thee. Through our Lord.
Epistle • 1 Pet. 1, 1-7
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Peter the Apostle.
[He gives thanks to God for the benefit of our being called to the true faith and to eternal life, into which we are to enter by many tribulations. He exhorts to holiness of life, considering the holiness of God and our redemption by the blood of Christ.]
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers dispersed through Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect, According to the foreknowledge of God the Father, unto the sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you and peace be multiplied. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy hath regenerated us unto a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, Unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that can not fade, reserved in heaven for you, Who, by the power of God, are kept by faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time.
Wherein you shall greatly rejoice, if now you must be for a little time made sorrowful in divers temptations: That the trial of your faith (much more precious than gold which is tried by the fire) may be found unto praise and glory and honour at the appearing of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Gradual • Ps. 106, 32, 31
Let them exalt him in the church of the people; and praise him in the chair of the ancients. Let the mercies of the Lord give glory to him; and his wonderful works to the children of men.
Alleluia, alleluia. Matt. 16, 18. Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church. Alleluia.
Gospel • Matt. 16, 13-19
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Matthew.
[Christ refuses to shew the Pharisees a sign from heaven. Peter's confession is rewarded. He is rebuked for opposing Christ's passion. All his followers must deny themselves.]
At that time, And Jesus came into the quarters of Caesarea Philippi: and he asked his disciples, saying: Whom do men say that the Son of man is? But they said: Some John the Baptist, and other some Elias, and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets. Jesus saith to them: But whom do you say that I am?
Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.
Offertory • Matt. 16, 18, 19
Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.
We beseech Thee, O Lord, that the prayer of the blessed apostle Peter may commend the sacrifices and supplications of Thy Church, so that the celebration we hold for his glory may profit for our pardon. Through our Lord.
Commemoration of St. Paul.
Sanctity, O lord, the offerings of Thy people by the prayer of Thine apostle Paul, that those things which are pleasing to Thee by Thine own institution may become the more pleasing by the favor of his intercession. Through our Lord.
Communion • Matt. 16, 18
Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church.
Let the gift we offer bring us joy, O Lord, that, as we declare Thee wonderful in Thine apostle Peter, so through him we may share the generosity of Thy forgiveness. Through our Lord.
Commemoration of St. Paul.
Sanctified by the mystery of salvation, O Lord, we pray that his prayer may fail us not, by whose patronage Thou hast granted us to be governed. Through our Lord.