Before becoming a disciple of Jesus, he was Simon, a fisherman, to whom Jesus gave the name Peter. Once he was fishing with his brother Andreas on the shore of Lake Galilee when Jesus came to them and said: “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men” (Lk 4:19). Thereupon the brothers left their nets and went with Jesus.
With his fiery nature, Peter was quick to acclaim Jesus as the Messiah, but he was also the one who after the imprisonment of Jesus three times denied knowing Jesus.
Later, however, after meeting the resurrected Christ, Peter became one of his most important disciples and apostles, to whom Jesus said: “And I say unto you: you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my congregation, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. I give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you tie up on earth, that will also be tied in heaven, and whatever you untie on earth, that will also be untied in heaven” (Mk 16:18-19).
Peter preached the Word of God in Asia Minor and supposedly founded the first Christian congregation in Rome. As was the case with many followers of Jesus, Peter also suffered a martyr’s death.
Peter’s attributes are the key (or keys) to heaven and a book.
The feast day of saints Peter and Paul is 29 June in the folk calendar.