Saint Peter was one of the twelve Apostles of Christ and leader in the early Christian church. He is often given the title, “Chief of the Apostles” because of Christ’s words that his Church would be built with Saint Peter as it’s rock. He is one of the great saints in the Church.
While there are good things to be learned from his example, there are great blessings to be found in contemplating his failures. For, Saint Peter embodies better than any other saint the blessing of making mistakes. When he sees Christ walking on the Sea of Galilee, he leaves the boat to join him. But, he only does so for a few steps before Christ has to save him from drowning. It’s Saint Peter who confesses that Christ is the Messiah. But then, missing the point entirely, he rebukes Christ about his upcoming sacrifice. And, most heartbreakingly, when Christ is arrested, Saint Peter abandons him altogether—denying him three times before the rooster crows.
In each of these mistakes, Saint Peter is rebuked, but also blessed. He does in fact walk on the water like Christ, experiencing the Kingdom of God on earth. Like some good mistakes, he simply tried to do something too big. His confession of Christ as Messiah is a proclamation directly from the Holy Spirit. So, like other good mistakes, his understanding of a brilliant idea just isn’t quite complete yet, but his words are still divine. And, even with his denial, his mistake brings forgiveness.
That experience of such unconditional love might just be Saint Peter’s greatest blessing.
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This icon of Saint Peter is in the Conestoga style and created primarily out of that region’s local colours and materials. The original icon resides in a personal residence in Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.