Feb. 22, 2016 (Feast of the Chair of St. Peter)

In the midst of our Lenten Season, the Church gives us a full-blown Feast Day of the Chair of St. Peter. A chair? Background: in the 4th century a custom developed that ran from Feb. 13-22 during which a chair (“Cathedra”) was placed in a place of honor and left vacant symbolizing the loss of a relative or close loved one. Since no one knew the exact date on which St. Peter was martyred, Feb. 22 was chosen as the day to remember him. This evolved into remembering that the Church was built on the rock, St. Peter, as the “Cathedra,” or chair became a symbol of the authority of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, and other bishops, as well. So, today we celebrate the founding of the Church, our spiritual home.

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