Historical Fact that St. Peter was in Rome.


#1

Here are some historical references that Peter was in Rome and died there.

St. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, Against Heresies 3:3:1, 3:3:2, and 3:3:3, AD 189, "Matthew also issued among the Hebrews a written Gospel in their own language, while Peter and Paul were evangelizing in Rome and laying the foundation of the Church.

"But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the succession of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul, that church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. With that church, because of its superior origin, all the churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world, and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition.

“The blessed apostles [Peter and Paul], having founded and built up the church [of Rome], they handed over the office of the episcopate to Linus. Paul makes mention of this Linus in the letter to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus, and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was chosen for the episcopate. He had seen the blessed apostles and was acquainted with them. It might be said that he still heard the echoes of the preaching of the apostles and had their traditions before his eyes. And not only he, for there were many still remaining who had been instructed by the apostles. In the time of Clement, no small dissension having arisen among the brethren in Corinth, the Church in Rome sent a very strong letter to the Corinthians, exhorting them to peace and renewing their faith . . . To this Clement, Evaristus succeeded . . . and now, in the twelfth place after the apostles, the lot of the episcopate [of Rome] has fallen to Eleutherus. In this order, and by the teaching of the apostles handed down in the Church, the preaching of the truth has come down to us.”

St. Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, Letter to Pope Soter, AD 170, quoted by Bishop Eusebius in Church History 2:25:8, “You have also, by your very admonition, brought together the planting that was made by Peter and Paul at Rome and at Corinth; for both of them alike planted in our Corinth and taught us; and both alike, teaching similarly in Italy, suffered martyrdom at the same time.”

St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, while being brought to Rome for martyrdom, wrote Letter to the Romans 4:3, AD 110, “I issue you no commands, like Peter and Paul: they were Apostles, while I am but a captive.”

Pope Clement (fourth Bishop of Rome), First Epistle to the Corinthians, Chapter 5, AD 96, “But not to dwell upon ancient examples, let us come to the most recent spiritual heroes. Let us take the noble examples furnished in our own generation. Through envy and jealousy, the greatest and most righteous pillars [of the Church] have been persecuted and put to death. Let us set before our eyes the illustrious apostles. Peter, through unrighteous envy, endured not one or two, but numerous labours, and when he had finally suffered martyrdom, departed to the place of glory due to him. Owing to envy, Paul also obtained the reward of patient endurance, after being seven times thrown into captivity, compelled to flee, and stoned. After preaching both in the east and west, he gained the illustrious reputation due to his faith, having taught righteousness to the whole world, and come to the extreme limit of the west, and suffered martyrdom under the prefects. Thus was he removed from the world, and went into the holy place, having proved himself a striking example of patience.”

Source: cfpeople.org/Apologetics/page51a066.html

St. Clement was ordained by Peter, and was mentored by him.


#2

Of course Peter was in Rome. :thumbsup:

Where have you been only to discover that recently?:wink:


#3

#4

I always know it, I’m cradle Catholic, I posted this so the Non-Catholic Christians claim that Peter was in Rome and was martyred there (crucified upside down).


#5

That’s not exactly evidence.

It’s hearsay.

It’s very good and trustworthy hearsay, but hearsay nonetheless.

Evidence would be either an eyewitness acount of him being there or an admission from his own pen that he was there.

Or, possibly, a photograph of him standing next to the obelisk in St. Peter’s Square.


#6

St. Clement is a witness of St. Peter. Here is a bio of St. Clement.

St Clement, the son of Faustinus, a Roman by birth, was of Jewish extraction; for he tells us himself that he was of the race of Jacob. He was converted to the faith by St. Peter or St. Paul, and was so constant in his attendance on these apostles, and so active in assisting them in their ministry, that St. Jerome and other fathers call him an apostolic man; St. Clement of Alexandria styles him an apostle; and Rufinus, almost an apostle. Some authors attribute his conversion to St. Peter, whom he met at Cesarea with St. Barnabas; but he attended St. Paul at Philippi in 62, and shared in his sufferings there. We are assured by St. Chrysostom that he was a companion of the latter, with SS. Luke and Timothy, in many of his apostolic journeys, labours, and dangers. St. Paul (Phil. iv, 3) calls him his fellow-labourer, and ranks him among those whose names are written in the book of life; a privilege and matter of joy far beyond the power of commanding devils. (Luke x. 17) St. Clement followed St. Paul to Rome, where he also heard St. Peter preach, and was instructed in his school, as St. Irenaeus and Pope Zosimus testify. Tertullian tells us that St. Peter ordained him bishop, by which some understand that he made him a bishop of nations, to preach the gospel in many countries; others, with Epiphanius, that he made him his vicar at Rome, with an episcopal character to govern that church during his absence in his frequent missions. Others suppose he might at first be made bishop of the Jewish church in that city. After the martyrdom of SS. Peter and Paul, St. Linus was appointed Bishop of Rome, and after eleven years, succeeded by St. Cletus. Upon his demise in 89, or rather in 91, St. Clement was placed in the apostolic chair. According to the Liberian Calendar he sat nine years, eleven months, and twenty days.

At Corinth, an impious and detestable division, as our saint called it, happened amongst the faithful, like that which St. Paul had appeased in the same church; and a party rebelled against holy and irreproachable priests and presumed to depose them. It seems to have been soon after the death of Domitian in 96, that St. Clement, in the name of the church of Rome, wrote to them his excellent epistle, a piece highly extolled and esteemed in the primitive church as an admirable work, as Eusebius calls it. It was placed in rank next to the canonical books of the holy scriptures, and with them read in the churches. Whence it was found in the very ancient Alexandrian manuscript copy of the Bible, which Cyril Lucaris sent to our King James I, from which Patrick Young, the learned keeper of that king’s library, published it at Oxford in 1633. St. Clement begins his letter by conciliating the benevolence of those who were at variance, tenderly putting them in mind how edifying their behaviour was when they were all humble-minded, not boasting of anything, desiring rather to be subject than to govern, to give than to receive, content with the portion God had dispensed to them, listening diligently to his word, having an insatiable desire of doing good, and a plentiful effusion of the Holy Ghost upon all of them. At that time they were sincere, without offence, not mindful of injuries, and all sedition and schism was an abomination to them. The saint laments that they had then forsaken the fear of the Lord, and were fallen into pride, envy, strife, and sedition; and pathetically exhorts them to lay aside all pride and anger, for Christ is theirs who are humble and not theirs who exalt themselves. The sceptre of the majesty of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, came not in the show of pride, though he could have done so; but with humility. He bids them look up to the Creator of the world, and think how gentle and patient he is towards his whole creation; also with what peace it all obeys his will, and the heavens, earth, impassable ocean, and worlds beyond it, are governed by the commends of this great master. Considering how near God is to us, and that none of our thoughts are hid from him, how ought we never to do anything contrary to his will, and honour them who are set over us! showing with a sincere affection of meekness, and manifesting the government of our tongues by a love of silence. “Let your children,” says the saint, “be bred up in the instruction of the Lord, and learn how great a power humility has with God, how much a pure and holy charity avails with him, and how excellent and great his fear is.”

((continue))


#7

Through envy and jealousy, the greatest and most righteous pillars [of the Church] have been persecuted and put to death. Let us set before our eyes the illustrious apostles. Peter, through unrighteous envy, endured not one or two, but numerous labours and when he had at length suffered martyrdom, departed to the place of glory due to him." Clement of Rome, The First Epistle of Clement, 5 (c. A.D. 96).

“I do not, as Peter and Paul, issue commandments unto you.” Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Romans, 4 (c. A.D. 110).

On the side note, Ignatius is the disciple of St. John and St. Peter. He succeeded Peter as the Bishop of Antioch when Peter left for Rome.


#8

I guess you don’t accept 1 Peter 5:13 as an admission from his own pen.

Is it because you don’t think Peter wrote 1 Peter, or you don’t think that the early Christians referred to Rome as Babylon?

1 Peter 5:13
"The chosen one **at Babylon **sends you greeting, as does Mark, my son. "


#9
  1. Clement doesn’t say Peter died at Rome. All he does is reference the recentness of his death and cite the example.

  2. Babylon needn’t have been symbolic shorthand for Rome; some believe it referred to the Jewish Temple Establishment and therefore to Jerusalem.

Don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying Peter wasn’t in Rome. I’m just saying there isn’t any hard evidence that he was there.

For what it’s worth the testimony of those fathers who do clearly say he was there is certainly adequate to persuade me. But I don’t pretend that this constitutes “fact” or “evidence”.


#10

I believe Peter wrote 1 Peter. I do believe that early Christians refer Rome as Babylon. In the Book of Revelations, Babylon will persecute Christians. History has show that the harlot Jerusalem ( and Babylon (Rome) form an alliance against Jesus’ Church. You know well in Acts, that the Sandhedrin persecuted the Early Church and Paul was a former persecutor of the Church. As time went own, Nero persecuted Christians and blamed them for burning Rome.


#11

What other Churches, or cities claim Peter to have died there?
And then what about the bones that are in his tomb?

And Mark was there with him, So if you research when 1 Peter was written, and then look in the book of acts to figure out where Mark was at that time, it might give you a clue of which city is being referred to as Babylon.

If you go with what is written in 1 Peter 5:13, and what churches claim to be founded by Peter, what the early church fathers said, and the physical evidence, I would say it is pretty certain that Peter was in Rome.

I sure wish they would have had a camera back then to prove it.


#12

Well there is physical evidence that Peter’s bones was founded in St. Peter’s Balisica.

Source Link:

ucd.ie/classics/classicsinfo/96/Curran96.html


#13

I’ve seen that and am personally satisfied that those are, in fact, Peter’s bones, but this is a matter of faith not of proof. Unless there’s preserved DNA evidence to compare them to we just cannot empirically verify that those are his bones.

What you have here is a preponderance of references and circumstantial evidence absolutely convincing to any fairminded person.

But what you do not have is the kind of evidence that would sway the opinion of someone settled into the view that he died elsewhere or was never there.


#14

Geez, what are you, a lawyer or something.:stuck_out_tongue:

Did you help the defense team in the OJ Simpson trial?


#15

No, not a lawyer…just a nit-picker and a history nerd.


#16

I’m reading a book right now called “The Acts of Peter, Gospel Literature, and the Ancient Novel,” by Christine M. Thomas. It makes a case about the oral history of that tale. The earliest version of the Acts of Peter that we have dates to the early to mid 2nd century, but the oral transmission is much earlier. There are several versions of the Acts, and with each century it changes according to the situations of the Christians reading it. In the earliest account, Peter is busted by the Roman Prefect Agrippa for teaching concubines to embrace sexual abstinence. In later versions, it changes to Nero’s wife! Long after the Edict of Toleration, the prefect who arrests Peter does so because he is bewitched by the evil Simon Magus (the point being that the Christians couldn’t understand how a Christian emperor could do this, unless he had a spell on him). Ok, what does this all have to do with Peter’s Roman adventure? Well…
Throughout the entire history of the Acts of Peter, both Oral and Written, there is marked fluidity in some of the miracles and motivations of characters, but there are some constant points that remain the same: the characters are Peter, Simon, Marcellus, Agrippa, and Nero. Simon challenges Peter in the Forum and attempts to fly over the city. Peter whoops Simons be-hind. The famous Quo Vadis narrative happens. And Peter is martyred, crucified upside down (the reasons for this even change from version to version).
Of course this makes the point that Peter was in Rome!


#17

Can I have an Amen?


#18

Amen Brother!!


#19

I sure guess that Early Christians were sure that Peter was in Rome. In the Wall near His tomb (just above it) there are a lot of graffiti scribbled by Early Christians.

Here’s a page about Saint Peter’s Tomb…

stpetersbasilica.org/Necropolis/MG/TheTombofStPeter-1.htm#intro

In Jerusalem there is also another Tomb claimed to be that of Peter.


#20

The fact of constancy of reference to Peter’s presence in Rome in the Acta Petrorum doesn’t prove he was in Rome. In a fairy tale the place of action can be the same in several tellings, it doesn’t mean what is described really happened where it happened.

The fact is that we just cannot know with empirical certainty though I acknowledge that empirical certainty goes out the window when we decide to accept testimony.

So there are things we believe in which may or may not admit of such evidence, the resurrection of our Lord is one such thing. This certainty of faith is even stronger than any certainty we might get from objective and verifiable evidence since such evidence is fluid and subject to revision, withdrawal, change.

The problem comes when we start binding consciences to things because we have this “certainty of faith” about them.

And this is where Catholics and Protestants differ.

Protestants maintain that only Scripture provides such a binding authority while Catholics will admit others.


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