Peter in Rome

Do we know when Peter first came to Rome?

“…After spending some time in Jerusalem and Antioch, St. Peter journeyed to Rome in A.D. 42 and established the Church, making numerous converts and enduring the first century persecutions. …” The Catholic Encyclopedia

Paul, according to Acts 28:30, lived in Rome for two years. I believe the tradition is both Peter and Paul were killed in A.D. 67 (Paul may have been under house arrest or something?). This would have Peter in Rome for 15yrs.



Does anyone know of any ancient sources that would support this chronology? I don’t dispute it, I’d just like to know if there are any ancient documents that back it up.

Yes, I would be interested too. The argument from non-Cats is that there is no evidence of this claim, that Peter established the Church in Rome. I can understand from scripture alone why it doesnt appear to be so. Paul seemed to be the main source of the gospel in Rome, according to Acts. Why would he (Paul) go to Rome if Peter was already established there?

I dont think, either, it necessarily contradicts the possision of the Cat Church. It is possible Paul and Peter had a much closer relationship than we know from scripture. After all, Rome was no simple task for any single Apostle to preach. But Vatican should be able to provide us with some concrete evidence of Peter’s establishment, when they say Peter established the Church in 42 and converted many. :wink:

Good question,

Exquisite photos,Gary. Thank you very much for sharing them. God has blessed you abundantly with this talent.

Tertullian, in The Demurrer Against the Heretics (A.D. 200), noted of Rome, “How happy is that church . . . where Peter endured a passion like that of the Lord, where Paul was crowned in a death like John’s [referring to John the Baptist, both he and Paul being beheaded].”

In his Letter to the Romans (A.D. 110), Ignatius of Antioch remarked that he could not command the Roman Christians the way Peter and Paul once did, such a comment making sense only if Peter had been a leader, if not the leader, of the church in Rome.

Irenaeus, in Against Heresies (A.D. 190), said that Matthew wrote his Gospel “while Peter and Paul were evangelizing in Rome and laying the foundation of the Church.” A few lines later he notes that Linus was named as Peter’s successor, that is, the second pope, and that next in line were Anacletus (also known as Cletus), and then Clement of Rome.

Lactantius, in a treatise called The Death of the Persecutors, written around 318, noted that “When Nero was already reigning (Nero reigned from 54–68), Peter came to Rome, where, in virtue of the performance of certain miracles which he worked by that power of God which had been given to him, he converted many to righteousness and established a firm and steadfast temple to God.”

From Scripture - Babylon is Rome

“She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark.” (1 Pet. 5:13).

Babylon is a code-word for Rome. It is used that way multiple times in works like the Sibylline Oracles (5:159f), the Apocalypse of Baruch (2:1), and 4 Esdras (3:1).

Eusebius Pamphilius, in History of the Church, composed between the years 300 and 325 AD, noted that “It is said that Peter’s first epistle, in which he makes mention of Mark, was composed at Rome itself; and that he himself indicates this, referring to the city figuratively as Babylon” (2, 15, 4).


Early Church Fathers – Peter in Rome

Ignatius of Antioch

“Not as Peter and Paul did, do I command you [Romans]. They were apostles, and I am a convict” (Letter to the Romans 4:3 [A.D. 110]).

Dionysius of Corinth

“You [Pope Soter] 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” (Letter to Pope Soter [A.D. 170], in Eusebius, History of the Church 2:25:8).


“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” (Against Heresies, 3, 1:1 [A.D. 189]).

“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 qf 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” (ibid. 3:3:2).

“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 epistle to Timothy [2 Tim. 4:21]. To him succeeded Anencletus, 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” (ibid. 3:3:3 [inter AD. 180-190]).


“How happy is that church . . . where Peter endured a passion like that of the Lord, where Paul was crowned in a death like John’s [referring to John the Baptist, both he and Paul being beheaded]” (The Demurrer Against the Heretics [A.D. 200]).

“This is the way in which the apostolic churches transmit their lists: like the church of the Smyrnaeans, which records that Polycarp was placed there by John; like the church of the Romans, where Clement was ordained by Peter” (ibid.).

**Cyprian **

“With a false bishop appointed for themselves by heretics, they dare even to set sail and carry letters from schismatics and blasphemers to the Chair of Peter and to the principal church [at Rome], in which sacerdotal unity has its source” (Epistle to Cornelius [Bishop of Rome] 59:14 [A.D. 252]).

“In the city of Rome the episcopal chair was given first to Peter, the chair in which Peter sat, the same who was head - that is why he is also called Cephas - of all the apostles, the one chair in which unity is maintained by all. Neither do the apostles proceed individually on their own, and anyone who would [presume to] set up another chair in opposition to that single chair would, by that very fact, be a schismatic and a sinner. . . .Recall, then, the origins of your chair, those of you who wish to claim for yourselves the title of holy Church” (The Schism of the Donatists 2:2 [circa A.D. 367]).

“If the very order of episcopal succession is to be considered, how much more surely, truly, and safely do we number them [the bishops of Rome] from Peter himself, to whom, as to one representing the whole Church, the Lord said, ‘Upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not conquer it.’ Peter was succeeded by Linus, Linus by Clement . . . In this order of succession a Donatist bishop is not to be found” (Epistle to Generosus 53:1:2 [A.D. 400]).

This web page is interesting…


I finished reading that…and what a conclusion! Sorry to share that twisted view. But it has alot of interesting research. Now I want to hear more about this theory and the Church’s reaction to it.

I thought the same thing. It was well attested in most of the things it promoted regarding Peter’s being in Rome, but curiously the sourcing was missing for much (all?) of the arguments regarding the rest.

The word “Peter” also means “opener” and therefore Simon Magus was also called Peter? :whacky: Seriously? I’d like to see something akin to a source for that.

Sorry, I cannot give the Church’s response, but here is mine.

This heretical website shows a statue of St. Peter and misidentifies it as “Statue of Simon Magus” as if some how Catholics are ignorant or that we are being honest and deceitful at the same time. Ridiculous. He concludes with :

Simon Magus arrived in Rome and, during a 25 year “episcopate,” built up a RIVAL RELIGION that amalgamated some aspects of Christianity WITH ELEMENTS OF THE PAGAN BABYLONIAN MYSTERY RELIGION. THIS religion of Simon’s eventually became known as the UNIVERSAL OR CATHOLIC CHURCH!

Indirectly, and unknowingly, and definitely unintentionally, he points to the Catholic Church as being Jesus’ One True Church.

The Catholic Church is accused of being the Whore of Babylon, but even this false accusation points to Her validity as being the Church that Christ established and is nothing to be frightened by.

Whore of Babylon and the Catholic Church

The Seventh Day Adventist Church calls the Catholic Church the “Whore of Babylon.” However, consider that even Jesus Christ was falsely accused.

**Mark 14:55-59
**“Many gave false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree…”

**Matthew 12:24-26
**“But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, ‘This man drives out demons only by the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons.’ But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste, and no town or house divided against itself will stand. And if Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself; how, then, will his kingdom stand?’ ”

Just as He was accused of doing the work of the Devil, He predicted that His Church would also be accused in the same way.

**John 15:18-20
**“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.
… If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.”

**Matthew 10:23-25
**“…No disciple is above his teacher, no slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, for the slave that he become like his master. **If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more those of his household !” ** NAB

Therefore, since we know that Christ’s prophecy is true, our search to identify His True Church that He established can be safely restricted to considering only those Churches that are accused of doing the Devil’s work.

For more on Peter in Rome see

**3. If Saint Peter is so important in the Church why is he hardly mentioned in the second half of the Book of Acts ?

**9. If Peter was the Bishop of Rome why does St. Paul not mention him in his Letter to the Romans ?


Isn’t Peter’s tomb in Rome.

Yes. The tomb is under St. Peter’s main altar.

Also, the statue that is misidentified as Simon Magus is correctly identified as St. Peter’s (the Apostle) below in Item 32


I read about half of it and posted it here. Then read the rest and realized he went from legitimate research for Peter’s presence in Rome, to jumping to a fanciful conclusion regarding Simon Magus. This is some sort of magic indeed, to found a Church which actually claims to be founded on Peter…:shrug: The biblical reason Simon the Magician was not right with God, is because he sought glory and power from the free gift of God, and attempted to purchase with money this grace! Calling the statue in the Vatican Simon Magus is just wierd and childish, along with the whole conclusion.

Anyway, I did not intend to divert the thread with that disturbing belief. Its heartbreaking to see people set themselves so opposed to the Universal Church, to see its founding Apostle a heretical magician who was strongly rebuked by the true primary officer of Christ’s Church!

I look forward to the day when the work of Jesus in Peter, all the Apostles, and all of His disciples throughout the ages is fully realized by every man. There is a misconception, I believe, that because Acts records Paul as seemingly singlehandedly taking the helm of all Apostleship, that the rest dwindled away. I do seek to find the importance of having such a strong influence of Paul’s ministry within the Holy Scripture. I do like to learn his ministry and how he gave no special honor to men in high positions of the Church for their own sake. But to skew and twist Paul’s Teachings to not give reverence to the office of Peter for the sake of Christ who placed Peter there, is the exact wickedness which is rocking the stability of men who attack the foundations of the Church.

Sorry if I am off topic some, but I was led to these thoughts through contemplating this topic;)


It’s always interesting when Simon Magnus is brought up by ignorant falsifiers, because Linus, Cletus, Clement and St John - who was still alive - are supposed to have been ignorant of which Peter they followed!

Paul, who spent about 15days with Peter as well as rebuking him didn’t seem to know the difference between Magnus and Simon in his writings!! :rolleyes:

I don’t understand why people DELIBERATELY set out to falsify the claims and records of Catholicism at the same time as they wish to be known as Christians! Do they think they’re doing a service FOR God?..or not care about their transgressions BEFORE God in trambling over one of the Ten Commandments to do it??

How can one be Christian and lie deliberately on such a scale?


No. We don’t know but probably near the end of his lifetime. The NT is almost completely silent including the silence of St. Pauls Epistle to the Romans and the Book of Acts. Obviously this is not decisive evidence for or against Peters residence in Rome. 1 Peter 5:13 could possibly testify to Peters residence in Rome. Further possible evidence of his Roman residency is Ignatius in the Epistle to the Romans 4:3 and a fragment of Gaius preserved in Eusebius. Bottom line, historically speaking nothing can be determined with any strong certainty about when he came to Rome and how long he stayed.

The artical says, “This presents the Catholic Church with a considerable problem – Peter, the first “pope,” was not supposed to be married!”

This is obviously incorrect since Jesus healed the mother-in-law of Peter right in the gospel. And then she got up and waited on them.

Yep. Yet another (of seeming millions) of misunderstandings about Catholic beliefs.

Acts 22:22-Chapter to 28 tells of Pauls arrest and the reason he asked to go to Rome to be tried.

Paul’s letter to the Romans is a letter of introduction to a church he does not know.

This is why he goes to such great lengths to name as many people as he can that he does know…to establish some connections…taking almost all of chapter 16 for this purpose. But two people he names are Priscilla and Aquila. We hear of them here:

Acts 18:1-3
18 After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.

Priscilla and Aquila (and possibly Peter) had left Rome in AD 42 when Claudia expelled all the Jews. However, by the time the Letter to the Romans was written, they were back in Rome.

Paul did not like building on another man’s foundation, and so he merely planned to visit Rome on his way to Spain. God, and the Romans, had other plans, of course.

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