February 22: St Peter's Chair, Class III


In the re-1962 calendar there were actually two different feasts of St Peter's chair.  The first related to his pontificate in Rome, and today's feast related to his tenure at Antioch where he spent seven years.  In the 1962 calendar they have been combined, an unfortunate downplaying of the links between East and West in my opinion, not to mention depriving of us a chance to celebrate again the greatest of the Apostles and reinforce the importance of his successors!

But in any case, we can certainly celebrate him today.

Here is an extract from St Augustine for the older version of the feast on St Peter's tenure at Antioch:

"Today's solemn feast received from our forefathers the name of Saint Peter's Chair at Antioch, because of a tradition that on this day Peter, first of the Apostles, took possession of his episcopal Chair. Fitly, therefore, do the churches observe the day of his enthronement, the right to which the Apostles received for the sake of salvation, (which comes to us in the churches,) when the Lord said: Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church. It was the Lord himself who called Peter the foundation of the Church, and therefore it is right that the Church should reverence this foundation whereon her mighty structure rises. Justly is it written in the Psalm which we so often chant : Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the seat of the elders. Blessed be God, who hath commanded that the holy Apostle Peter be exalted in the congregation! Worthy to be honoured by the Church is that foundation from which her goodly towers rise, pointing to heaven! In the honour which is this day paid to the inauguration of the first Bishop's throne, an honour is paid to the office of all Bishops. The Churches testify one to another, that, the greater the Church's dignity, the greater the reverence due to her priests."

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