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SAINT PETER'S CHAINS (44 A.D.) ^ | 1894 | John Gilmary Shea

Posted on 08/01/2009 3:04:18 AM PDT by GonzoII

August 1

Spiritual Bouquet: In this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit. St. John 15:8

Saint Peter's Chains


(44 A.D.)

In the year 44 King Herod Agrippa, after putting to death Saint James, son of Zebedee, was still avid for popular approval by the Jews. He had Saint Peter cast into prison, intending to put him to death publicly after the Passover; but the entire Church of Jerusalem was offering up prayers to God “without ceasing” (Acts 12:5) for the deliverance of the Chief Pastor of His flock, and God heard them favorably.

The king had taken all possible precautions to prevent the escape of his prisoner. He was guarded day and night by sixteen soldiers, four of whom kept sentry duty in turn — two in the same dungeon with him, and two at the gate. Saint Peter was fastened to the ground by two chains, and a soldier watched on either side of him. He lay fast asleep on the very night before the day fixed for his execution, when it pleased God to deliver him out of the hands of his enemies. In the middle of the night, a bright light shone in the prison, and an Angel appeared beside him. He woke him from his sleep and bade him instantly rise, fasten his cincture, put on his sandals and cloak, and follow him. The Apostle did so, for the chains had fallen off his wrists. Following his heavenly guide, he passed after him through the first and second watches, and when they arrived at the iron gate which led into the city, that gate opened before them of its own accord. The Angel conducted him through one street, then, suddenly disappearing, left him to seek refuge.

The Apostle went directly to the house of Mary, mother of John Mark, where several disciples were assembled and sending up their prayers to heaven for his deliverance. As he stood knocking, a young woman who had been sent to the door, hearing Peter’s voice, ran back in joy and informed the group that their Pastor was at the door. They paid no attention to her, saying she was beside herself, or that it was probably his Guardian Angel. But the knocking continued until they opened the door, and Saint Peter, entering, told them of his miraculous escape. Having enjoined them to notify the rest of the brethren, he departed to regions of greater security, carrying wherever he went the divine blessing and life.

Reflection: This miracle clearly confirms the divine promise, “If two of you consent upon earth about anything at all for which they ask, it shall be done for them by My Father in heaven.” (Matt. 18:19)

Sources: New Testament, Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 12; Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).

TOPICS: Catholic; History
KEYWORDS: catholic; saints; stpeter
 Who is like unto God?........ Lk:10:18:
 And he said to them: I saw Satan like lightning falling from heaven.




After King Herod Agrippa had put to death St. James the Greater ten years after Christ's crucifixion, he decided to placate the Jews still more by arresting Peter, Prince of the Apostles. The Acts tell us that while Peter was in prison, "prayer was being made to god for him by the Church without ceasing." Finally, one night, an angel awakened the prisoner. The chains fell from his hands, he followed the angel safely past the sentries, and the iron gate of the jail opened of its own accord. This miracle confirmed the divine promise: "If two of you shall agree on earth about anything at all for which they ask, it shall be done for them by My Father in heaven" (Matt. 18:19). It is these chains, now preserved in Rome, that are venerated today.

INTROIT Acts 12:11
Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel and rescued me from all that the Jewish people were expecting. Ps. 138:1-2. O Lord, You have proved me and You know me; You know when I sit and when I stand. V. Glory be . . .

O God, You freed the blessed apostle Peter from his chains and sent him forth unharmed. Free us from the bonds of our sins and in Your mercy shield us from all harm. Through our Lord . . .

Commemoration of SAINT PAUL, Apostle
St. Peter, one of the two apostles of Rome, is never celebrated without St. Paul, the other. Moreover, four links of St. Paul's chains are preserved with those of St. Peter.

O God, You have instructed many nations through the preaching of the blessed Apostle Paul. Let the power of his intercession with You help us who venerate his memory this day. 

Commemoration of the HOLY MACHABEES
Seven brothers known as the Machabees were martyred together with their heroic mother during the second century B.C. They are the only martyrs of the Old Testament honored by a feast of universal observance in the Church. 

O Lord, may the martyrdom of these brothers warm our hearts with joy, enliven our faith by an increase of virtue, and comfort us by the added number of intercessors we have in heaven. Through our Lord . . . 

EPISTLE Acts 12: 1-11

In those days, Herod the king stretched forth his hands, to afflict some of the church. And he killed James, the brother of John, With the sword. And seeing that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to take up Peter also. Now it was in the days of the Azymes. And when he had apprehended him, he cast him into prison, delivering him to four files of soldiers, to be kept, intending, after the pasch, to bring him forth to the people. Peter therefore was kept in prison. But prayer was made without ceasing by the church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And behold an angel of the Lord stood by him and a light shined in the room. And he, striking Peter on the side, raised him up, saying: "Arise quickly." And the chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said to him: "Gird thyself and put on thy sandals." And he did so. And he said to him: "Cast thy garment about thee and follow me," And going out, he followed him. And he knew not that it was true which was done by the angel: but thought he saw a vision. And passing through the first and the second ward, they came to the iron gate that leadeth to the city which of itself opened to them. And going out, they passed on through one street. And immediately the angel departed from him. And Peter coming to himself, said: "Now I know in very deed that the Lord hath sent his angel and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews." 

GRADUAL Ps. 44:17-18

You shall make them prices through all the land; they shall remember Your name, O Lord. 
. To take the place of your fathers, sons shall be born to you; therefore peoples shall praise you.

Alleluia, alleluia! V.
At the bidding of God, loosen the chains of the world, Peter, you who open the kingdom to the blessed. Alleluia!

GOSPEL Matt. 16:13-19 
At that time, Jesus came into the quarters of Cesarea Philippi: and he asked his disciples, saying: 
"Whom do men say that the Son of man is?" But they said: "Some John the Baptist, and other some Elias, and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets." Jesus saith to them:"But whom do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered and said: "Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answering said to him: "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven."

You shall make them princes throughout the land; they shall remember Your name, O Lord, in every generation and age.

May the sacrifice we offer You, O Lord, bring us new life and keep us safe through the intercession of blessed Peter, Your apostle. Through our Lord . . .

Commemoration of SAINT PAUL
O Lord, sanctify the offerings of Your people through the intercession of the blessed apostle Paul. The sacrifice we offer is already acceptable to You because You instituted it; may it become even more pleasing to You through the prayers of Your saint.

Commemoration of the HOLY MACHABEES
O Lord, grant that we may celebrate these sacred mysteries with devotion to honor Your holy martyrs, so that through this sacrifice we may have new help and a deeper joy. Through our Lord . . . 


Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church.

We are refreshed by the Sacrifice of Your Sacred Body and Precious Blood, O Lord our God. may our devout celebration of these divine Mysteries insure our salvation. Through our Lord . . .

Commemoration of SAINT PAUL 
We who have received your Sacrament, O Lord, look hopefully for the prayers of Your blessed Paul. May the Sacred Rite that we have celebrated in his honor bring us healing for our own sinfulness.

Commemoration of the HOLY MACHABEES 
O Almighty God, grant that we may grow in grace by emulating the faith of these martyrs whose memory we honor by the reception of Your Sacrament. through our Lord . . .


1 posted on 08/01/2009 3:04:18 AM PDT by GonzoII
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To: GonzoII

What a wonderful way to start the day! Thank you!

2 posted on 08/01/2009 3:12:00 AM PDT by hershey
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To: GonzoII

Thank you.

3 posted on 08/01/2009 6:10:19 AM PDT by Desdemona (True Christianity requires open hearts and open minds - not blind hatred.)
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To: Desdemona; hershey

You’re welcome.

4 posted on 08/01/2009 10:56:57 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII

thank you for this, it really helps in these trying times for america

5 posted on 08/01/2009 11:27:56 PM PDT by SaveAmericaGlenn (Glenn Beck we need him now more then ever)
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To: SaveAmericaGlenn

You’re welcome.

6 posted on 08/02/2009 12:40:04 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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