February 22, 2021

Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle

Chair—a significant piece of furniture. Grandparents may have had their own chairs as well as our mothers and fathers. We kept those chairs aside, not to be used except by them, for the chair was for their comfort, but we also honored them. Perhaps one day, we might have our own. If we are chairing a meeting, we sit at the head of the table. Men and women have been honored at universities by bestowing upon them endowed chairs for distinction in their respective fields. These chairs are respected and honored for what they represent.

Today, we honor and celebrate the Chair of Saint Peter, a wooden relic encased in bronze designed by Bernini, the Roman sculptor and architect. The chair-throne hangs behind the high altar of Saint Peter’s Basilica and appears to be lifted toward heaven. Above, in the light-rays, the Holy Spirit as a dove radiates in the center of this architectural masterpiece defining tenets of our faith, that is, the infallibility of the pope in matters of dogma and the pope’s right of succession from Christ to Peter and all his successors.

The “interview” question that Jesus asked, “Who do you say I am?” and Peter’s response, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” is his public announcement of his belief in Jesus and that God is our “living-God,” ever-present in his Church, its people, and his creation.

Peter, the faithful servant, given the authority to lead God’s people, conjoins us to that same occasion. Church bureaucracy aside, we proclaim, in the Nicene creed, “I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church,” recalling how connected we are to our spiritual history.

So, be assured, the chair and all it represents—“the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.”

Let Us Pray:

A throne replicated. Mounted in a church. Hinging beliefs connected to a miraculous past. And a kingdom of peace for which we pray.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About Joe McCormack

Joe McCormack is an Associate of the Blessed Sacrament and a parishioner at St Paschal Baylon Church in Cleveland, Ohio.