What happens to Peter’s wife

I know that Peter was married and that there’s not a ton about his marriage in scripture but I was wondering if there’s anything in tradition on his wife. Did she follow Jesus too? Was she martyred with Peter? Or did she just stay at home?

I always assumed that she had already died by the time Peter met Jesus. The Bible passage where Peter’s mother-in-law is healed by Jesus makes no mention of Peter’s wife, so it might imply that she was already deceased.


In this article, concentrated on Peter’s daughter, it says that Apocrypha books claim that St. Peter was running away from women, including his own daughter, so he would not be tempted by them.
Actually not even his martyrdom is historicaly recorded, it is one popular belief based on apocryphal books.

Actually, there is a first century graveyard under the basilica in which the central grave has part of his name on the broken stone.

And on further thought, that doesn’t suggest the nature of his death, just that he was in fact buried there.

This came out in an excavation about a half century ago.



I think it does more than imply. Surely if Peter’s wife were alive when Our Lord visited, she would be serving Him and so her mother-in-law would not need to do so.


That’s only partly true. In St John’s Gospel 21:18-19 Jesus says to Peter “when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and lead thee whither thou wouldst not.” St John then explains “And this he said, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had said this, he saith to him: “Follow me.”

So it is a matter of record that Peter was martyred and in the context, Jesus words “follow me” strongly imply that Peter could expect to be crucified like him.

The tradition that he was crucified upside down is very ancient and was mentioned by Origen who died around 253 AD


Paul says that Peter used to take his (Peter’s) wife on his missionary tours (I Corinthians 9:5). Maybe she made it to Rome and comforted him in prison. But you’re right that we don’t know anything after that.

Also, welcome Ashamedgrot62 to the forums!


No he doesn’t. St Paul says ‘Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife/sister along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas?’ so he is stating a hypothetical not a fact.


Is it possible she would have followed Jesus with Peter because didn’t women follow him as well?

Some editions of the Jerusalem Bible have a footnote here clearly stating that those apostles who were married, including Peter, generally took their wives with them on their missionary travels.

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Footnotes on modern translations are no better than other traditions.
I certainly think the Peter’s wife had died before he met Jesus.


Agreed. The conclusion I draw from his is that, at least in Peter’s case, we don’t possess factual knowledge one way or the other. Nobody can state with certainty that Peter took his wife with him on his travels, and nobody can state with certainty that he didn’t.


Paul says Peter’s wife accompanied him. How is that not evidence? Seems pretty conclusive to me.

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“wife” is a mistranslation. The Greek words literally mean “a woman believer”. St Paul is defending his right to have a women accompanying him to attend to his material needs whilst he was travelling and evangelising. Just as the other Apostles did and just as Jesus did. Please don’t anyone try to claim that Jesus had a wife!!

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No, it’s not a mistranslation. Greek has a single word, γυνή, for both “woman” and “wife.” See, for example, Matt 27:19, Pilate’s wife.


If you google “I Corinthians 9:5 interlinear”, the original Greek lists “adelphen”=(sister) and “gynaika” (wife) so the apostles may have brought sisters with them.

Only if you read “gynaika” to mean “wife”. But it is also the normal word for a woman (compare spanish “mujer”).

It has always been understood that in the context, “sister” means “sister in faith” and doesnt have to mean a family connection. Neither does the word gynaika.

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I also know that Peter potentially had a daughter as well St Petronilla

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