Saint Peter

Find Out the Revered History of Saint Peter the Apostle

Who is St. Peter?

Saint Peter is one of the most recognized saints in Christianity. He was the earliest leader of the Christian Church and is widely regarded as the first Pope. Although his existence dates back to the first century, his legacy continues to live on even today. St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City is solely dedicated to his martyrdom. Keep reading to find out Saint Peter’s story.

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Saint Peter

Official name: Shimon Bar Yonah

Other names: Simon, Peter, Simeon, Peter the Apostle

Birth: 1 AD

Papacy: 30 AD

Death: Between 64 to 68 AD

Burial: Vatican Hill

About: Apostle of Jesus Christ/First Pope of Rome

Peter the Apostle

Saint Peter

Peter was Jesus' closest friend and disciple and became an apostle during his ministry. After the death of Jesus, Peter became the leader of the apostles and is often described as their spokesperson in the gospels. 

Aside from his position as the most important apostle, legend has it that he held the keys of heaven and hell, which he received from Jesus Christ himself after he was made the leader of His new church. He is always mentioned first in the Bible and any other historical texts because he was the representative of the Twelve Apostles. This shows us how important St. Peter was to Christianity.

Leader of the Early Church

Saint Peter

Peter was considered as one of the pillars of the early Church along with James and John. After Christ's crucifixion and resurrection, Peter began to preach his own version of Christ's teachings to everyone he could find. He began assuming the position of a leader and gathered a group of followers.  

He took his preachings far and wide as he set out on various missionary activities. His dedication and contribution to the teachings of Christ and the Church is why he was considered the first Pope of Rome.

Death & Burial of Saint Peter

Saint Peter

During the reign of Emperor Nero, a widespread fire was unleashed in Rome, for which he blamed the Christians. This led to Saint Peter’s crucifixion at a site earlier known as Nero’s Circus. He requested that he be crucified with his head pointing downwards because he didn’t consider himself worthy enough to die the same way as Jesus. 

After St. Peter’s death, he was buried on Vatican Hill, close to the site of his martyrdom. To honor his death, Emperor Constantine I built a church over his tomb. This church existed for over 1,200 years, after which it began crumbling, unable to be restored through reparation. However, this site continued to remain as the final resting place of the Saint.

St. Peter’s Tomb

Saint Peter

Today, Saint Peter's Tomb is located in Vatican City inside St. Peter’s Basilica. It is a large and ornate structure that is said to hold the remains of Saint Peter. The tomb is located in the center of the Church beneath the High Altar. 

Before St. Peter’s Basilica existed, the tomb of the Apostle rested below Old St. Peter’s Basilica. After the new Basilica was built, the tomb was preserved below the Church as part of the Vatican Necropolis. Saint Peter’s tomb is enclosed within a grand structure, visited by millions of people every year.

More about St. Peter's Tomb

Visit St. Peter’s Tomb at St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter’s Tomb is now a popular tourist attraction. Every year millions of people pay a visit to the grand tomb of the Apostle located inside the Vatican Necropolis. This burial site can be accessed through St. Peter’s Basilica. Pay a visit to St. Peter’s Tomb as well as many other nearby Papal tombs on your visit.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Saint Peter

Q. Q. Who is Saint Peter?

A. Saint Peter was one of the Apostles of Jesus Christ and the first leader of the Christian Church.

Q. Why is Saint Peter important?

A. Saint Peter is widely regarded as the first Pope of Christendom.

Q. When was St. Peter’s Papacy?

A. St. Peter’s Papacy began roughly around 30 AD and lasted until his death.

Q. How did St. Peter die?

A. St. Peter was crucified at Vatican Hill.

Q. Who killed St. Peter?

A. St. Peter was sentenced to crucifixion by Emperor Nero.

Q. Where was St. Peter buried?

A. St. Peter was buried at Vatican Hill.

Q. Why was St. Peter crucified upside down?

A. St. Peter asked to be crucified with his head facing downwards because he felt he wasn’t worthy enough to die the same way as Jesus.

Q. Where is St. Peter’s tomb?
Q. Where was the first tomb of St. Peter located?

A. Before the current Basilica existed, St. Peter’s Tomb lay below the Old St. Peter’s Basilica.

Q. Are St. Peter’s remains inside his tomb?

A. It is believed that the relics of the Apostle were found through excavations and placed at St. Peter’s Basilica.

Q. Can I visit the tomb of St. Peter?