Simon, a fisherman of Bethsaida, became a disciple of St. John the Baptist. Then his elder brother, Andrew, led him to Jesus, who gave him the name of Peter (Rock), making him the head of the Christian Church.
After Pentecost, the precedence of Peter in the Church was never disputed. He ruled with the authority given him by the Holy Spirit, but his rule was one of love. He evangelized various provinces of Asia Minor, and in A.D. 42 he fixed his see in Rome. From then until now each successor of St. Peter has been in turn, the Bishop of Rome. During the persecution of the Church by Nero, the Vicar of Christ was crucified, hanging head downward on his cross. His martyrdom took place on June 29, in the year 67, on the same day as that of St. Paul.
INTROIT Acts 12:11Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel and rescued me from all that the Jewish people were expecting.
Ps. 138:1-2. O Lord, You have proved me and You know me; You know when I sit and when I stand.
V. Glory be . . .
O God, this day is sacred because of the martyrdom of Your apostles Peter and Paul. May Your Church follow the teachings of these two saints in every respect, for from them she received the faith in the beginning. Through our Lord . . .
LESSON Acts 12: 1-11
In those days, Herod the king stretched forth his hands, to afflict some of the church. And he killed James, the brother of John, With the sword. And seeing that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to take up Peter also. Now it was in the days of the Azymes. And when he had apprehended him, he cast him into prison, delivering him to four files of soldiers, to be kept, intending, after the pasch, to bring him forth to the people. Peter therefore was kept in prison. But prayer was made without ceasing by the church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And behold an angel of the Lord stood by him and a light shined in the room. And he, striking Peter on the side, raised him up, saying: "Arise quickly." And the chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said to him: "Gird thyself and put on thy sandals." And he did so. And he said to him: "Cast thy garment about thee and follow me," And going out, he followed him. And he knew not that it was true which was done by the angel: but thought he saw a vision. And passing through the first and the second ward, they came to the iron gate that leadeth to the city which of itself opened to them. And going out, they passed on through one street. And immediately the angel departed from him. And Peter coming to himself, said: "Now I know in very deed that the Lord hath sent his angel and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews."
GRADUAL Ps. 44:17-18
You shall make them prices through all the land; they shall remember Your name, O Lord.
V. To take the place of your fathers, sons shall be born to you; therefore peoples shall praise you.
Alleluia, alleluia! V. Matt. 16:18
Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church. Alleluia!
GOSPEL Matt. 16:13-19
At that time, Jesus came into the quarters of Cesarea 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 on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven."
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Ps. 44:17-18
You shall make them princes throughout the land; they shall remember Your name, O Lord, in every generation and age.
May Your blessed apostles join their prayers to the sacrifice we offer to Your name, O Lord, so that it may win Your pardon and protection for us. Through our Lord . . .
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Matt. 16:18
Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church.
You have nourished us with the Bread of Heaven, O Lord. Shield us now against all dangers through the prayers of Your apostles. Through our Lord . . .