Was Peter Ever in Rome?
Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome
St Irenaeus, "Against Heresies", chapter
"...the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops."
Eusebius, "History of the Church", 2,14,6, 300 A.D., J651dd
In the same reign of Claudius, the all-good and gracious providence which watches over all things guided Peter, the great and mighty one among the Apostles, who, because of his virtue, was the spokesman for all the others, to Rome."
Tertullian, "The demurrer against the heretics", chapter XXXII,1,
"...like the church of the Romans where Clement was ordained by Peter."
Who has the authority to ordain priests? Only Bishops
do. Clement was ordained by the Bishop of Rome, Peter.
Saint Peter of Alexandria, "The Canonical Letter", canon 9, 306 A.D.
"Peter, the first chosen of the Apostles, having been apprehended often and thrown into prison and treated with ignominy, at last was crucified in Rome."
Eusebius, "The Chronicle" Ad An.Dom 68, J651cc
"Nero is the first, in addition to all his other crimes, to make a persecution against the Christians, in which Peter and Paul died gloriously in Rome."
Eusebius, "History of the Church", 3,2, 300 A.D., J652a
"After the martyrdom of Paul and Peter, Linus was the first appointed to the Episcopacy of the Church at Rome."
Lactantius, "Of the manner in which the persecutors
This letter is addressed to Donatus. It not only shows that Peter was actually in Rome, but that he died there also at the hands of Nero. Chapter II. "His apostles were at that time eleven in number, to whom were added Matthias, in the room of the traitor Judas, and afterwards Paul. Then were they dispersed throughout all the earth to preach the Gospel, as the Lord their Master had commanded them; and during twenty-five years, and until the beginning of the reign of the Emperor Nero, they occupied themselves in laying the foundations of the Church in every province and city. And while Nero reigned, the Apostle Peter came to Rome, and, through the power of God committed unto him, wrought certain miracles, and, by turning many to the true religion, built up a faithful and steadfast temple unto the Lord. When Nero heard of those things, and observed that not only in Rome, but in every other place, a great multitude revolted daily from the worship of idols, and, condemning their old ways, went over to the new religion, he, an execrable and pernicious tyrant, sprung forward to raze the heavenly temple and destroy the true faith. He it was who first persecuted the servants of God; he crucified Peter, and slew Paul: nor did he escape with impunity; for God looked on the affliction of His people; and therefore the tyrant, bereaved of authority, and precipitated from the height of empire, suddenly disappeared, and even the burial-place of that noxious wild beast was nowhere to be seen."
Saint Damasus I, "The Decree of Damasus" 3, 382 A.D., J910u
"The first see, therefore, is that of Peter the Apostle, that of the Roman Church, which has neither stain nor blemish nor anything like it."
Saint Augustine, "Letter to Generosus", 53,1,2, 400 A.D., J1418
"If the very order of episcopal succession is to be considered, how much more surely, truly, and safely do we number them from Peter himself, to whom, as to one representing the whole Church, the Lord said: "Upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not conquer it."
Has anyone ever considered archaeological evidence?
I have presented much authentic documentation that Peter was indeed in Rome, so now let us look at the physical evidence.
Peter's tomb has been found. It was found under the altar of St. Peters Basilica in Rome in 1965. The tomb is plainly marked with his name and there are human remains within it. Anyone who visits St. Peters can see the tomb for himself
Other early writings which show that Peter was indeed in Rome...
Dionysius of Corinth in his letter to the 12th Pope Soter in 170 A.D.
Clement of Corinth in his letter to the Corinthians in 70 A.D.
Peter of Alexandria, in his work called 'Penance' in 311.
St Ignatius of Antioch, in his letter to the Romans, about 107.
I have presented several early Church writings in
this letter, and there are many others to show that Peter was indeed in
Rome, that he and Paul founded the Church there, that he was the first
Bishop of Rome, now called the Pope, and that he died there.
For those who charge that Peter was never in Rome, I challenge them to provide genuine historical documents as proof of support for their position. If they have no genuine proof of what they charge, then they have only false charges.
Here are a few books for reference...
'The Bones of St. Peter', by John Walsh.
'Catholicism and Fundamentalism', by Karl Keating, pg 204-205.
'Radio Replies', by Frs. Rumble and Carty, Vol I-370.
'Faith of the Early Fathers', by William A. Jurgens.
Written by Bob Stanley, January, 1996
Updated, August 31, 2001
Back to Home Page...