Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter

Published February 21, 2022, 10:42 AM

by Christina Hermoso

The Roman Catholic Church celebrates Tuesday, Feb. 22, the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter (Cathedra Petri), in honor of the teachings and authority of Saint Peter, the leader of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, as the first supreme pontiff of the Catholic faith.

Chair of St. Peter (Facebook)

Celebrated as a day of prayer and unity with the Holy Father, holy masses are traditionally held at the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Italy, concluding with the Mass of the Canons of St. Peter at the Holy See, which means “Holy Chair.”

In the country, feast masses will be offered Tuesday at the Chair of St. Peter Parish in Balibago, Sta. Rosa, Laguna at 7 a.m., 10 a.m. and at 6 p.m. The 10 a.m. mass will be presided by Diocese of San Pablo Bishop Buenaventura M. Famadico.

Novena masses were held from Feb. 13 to 21. The last novena mass (ninth) will be celebrated Monday, Feb. 21 at 5:30 p.m. Churchgoers are reminded to wear their face masks. A healing mass is held at the church every Friday at 6 p.m.

Celebrated in Rome since the 4th century, the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, also known as the Throne of St. Peter, highlights the authority of the Holy Father as the bishop of Rome, the Vicar of Christ. When the Pope gives a dogmatic definition for the Universal Church, he is said to speak “Ex Cathedra,” or “From the Chair.”

“The observance underscores the singular mystery and mission entrusted by the Lord to St. Peter and his successors,” Church officials said. In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI described the chair as “a symbol of the special mission of Peter and his successors to tend Christ’s flock, keeping it united in faith and in charity.”

The original wooden chair used by St. Peter is enshrined in the apse of the St. Peter’s Basilica enclosed in a gilt bronze casing which was designed and executed from 1647 to 1653 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.