Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter on Feb. 22

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

The Chair of St. Peter (Facebook)

Celebrated as a day of prayer and unity with the Holy Father, holy masses are traditionally held at 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 on Wednesday at the Chair of St. Peter Parish in Balibago, Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

Novena masses were held from February 12 to 20 followed by a procession to the different barangays. Street masses were also held prior to the feast. 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 St. Peter’s Basilica enclosed in a gilt bronze casing which was designed and executed from 1647 to 1653 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.