Peter, the Apostle

Peter, the Apostle, originally called Simon, was a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee; one of the first called by Christ to become a disciple; the first to recognise, as the foundation-stone of the Church, the divinity in the humanity of His Master, and the first thereafter to recognise and proclaim that divinity as glorified in the cross, to whom in recognising which, especially the former, was committed the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and who accordingly was the first to open the door of it to the Gentile world. He was the principal figure in the history of the early Christian Church, but was soon eclipsed by the overpowering presence and zeal of Paul. Tradition, indeed, has something to tell of him, but from it little of trustworthy can be gathered except that he finished his career by martyrdom in the city of Rome. This Apostle is represented in Christian art as an old man, bald-headed, with a flowing beard, dressed in a white mantle, and holding a scroll in his hand, his attributes being the keys, and a sword in symbol of his martyrdom.

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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