The Church Fathers and Peter in Patristic Thought by Joe Gallegos
"Peter was proncounced blessed by the Lord...the duty of feeding the spiritual sheep of the Church under whose protecting shield, this Apostolic Church of his has NEVER turned away from the path of truth in ANY direction of ERROR, whose AUTHORITY, as that of the Prince of all the Apostles, the whole Catholic Church and the Ecumenical Synods have faithfully embraced..."
Agatho Pope,To Ecumenical Council VI at Constantinople,(A.D. 680),in NPNF2,XIV:328-339
"It was right indeed that he(Paul) should be anxious to see Peter; for he was the first among the apostles, and was entrusted by the Savior with the care of the churches."
Ambrosiaster,Commentary on Galatians,PL 17:344 (A.D. 384),in SPP,62
" 'Thou art Peter and upon this Rock I will build my Church', Wherefore where Peter the Church is..."
Ambrose,Commentary on the Psalms,40:30 (AD 395),in DOP,184
"At length, after being tempted by the devil, Peter is set over the Church."
Ambrose,Commentary on the Psalms,43:40(AD 397),in GILES,145
"...the chief of the disciples...the Lord accepted him, set him up as the foundation, called him the rock and structure of the church."
Aphraates, De Paenitentibus Homily 7:15(A.D. 337),in SPP,58
"In order that he may show his power, God has endowed none of his disciples with gifts like Peter. But, having raised him with heavenly gifts, he has set him above all. And, as first disciple and greater among the brethren, he has shown, by the test of deeds, the power of the Spirit. The first to be called, he followed at once....The Saviour confided to this man, as some special trust, the whole universal Church, after having asked him three times 'Lovest thou me?'. And he receive the world in charge..."
Asterius,Homily 8(A.D. 400),in GILES,145-146
"Number the priests even from that seat of Peter. And in that order of fathers see to whom succeeded: that is the rock which the proud gates of hades do not conquer."
Augustine,Psalmus contr Partem Donati(A.D. 393),in GILES,182
"Peter bore the person of the church"
Augustine, Sermon 149:7(inter A.D. 391-430),in SPP,69
"Peter upon which rock the Lord promised that he would build his church."
Basil,In Isaias,2:66(A.D. 375),in SPP,55
"Peter is again called 'the coryphaeus of the Apostles"
Basil of Seleucia,Oratio 25(ante A.D. 468),in FOC,II:49
" 'Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it, and to thee I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven'? When Wilfrid spoken thus, the king said, 'It is true, Colman, that these words were spoken to Peter by our Lord?' He answered, 'It is true O king!' Then says he, 'Can you show any such power given to your Columba?' Colman answered, 'None.' Then added the king,"Do you both agree that these words were principally directed to Peter, and that the keys of heaven were given to him by our Lord?'They both answered,'We do.' "
Bede Venerable, AD 700, Ecclesiastical History,3:5(A.D. 700),in RCH,I:271
"[B]ut that great man, the disciple of disciples, that master among masters, who wielding the government of the Roman Church possessed the authority in faith and priesthood. Tell us therefore, tell us we beg of you, Peter, prince of the Apostles, tell us how the churches must believe in God."
Cassian John,Contra Nestorium,3:12(A.D. 430),in SPP,61
"A copy of the letter sent by the holy and Ecumenical Sixth Council to Agatho, the most blessed and most holy pope of Old Rome...Serious illnesses call for greater helps, as you know, most blessed (father); and therefore Christ our true God, who is the creator and governing power of all things, gave a wise physician, namely your God-honoured sanctity, to drive away by force the contagion of heretical pestilence by the remedies of orthodoxy, and to give the strength of health to the members of the church. Therefore to thee, as to the bishop of the first see of the Universal Church, we leave what must be done, since you willingly take for your standing ground the firm rock of the faith, as we know from having read your true confession in the letter sent by your fatherly beatitude to the most pious emperor: and we acknowledge that this letter was divinely written (perscriptas) as by the Chief of the Apostles, and through it we have cast out the heretical sect of many errors which had recently sprung up.."
Constantinople III Council to Pope Agatho,(A.D. 680),NPNF2,XIV:349
"Wherefore the most holy and blessed Leo, archbishop of the great and elder Rome, through us, and through this present most holy synod together with the thrice blessed and all-glorious Peter the Apostle, who is the rock and foundation of the Catholic Church, and the foundation of the orthodox faith..."
Council of Chalcedon,Session III (A.D. 451),in NPNF2,XIV:259-260
" '...thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church' ... It is on him that he builds the Church, and to him that he entrusts the sheep to feed. And although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single Chair, thus establishing by his own authority the source and hallmark of the (Church's) oneness...If a man does not fast to this oneness of Peter, does he still imagine that he still holds the faith. If he deserts the Chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, has he still confidence that he is in the Church?"
Cyprian, De Unitate Ecclesiae(Primacy text),4(A.D. 251),in NE,228-229
"He promises to found the church, assigning immovableness to it,as He is the Lord of strength, and over this he sets Peter as shepherd."
Cyril of Alexandria,Commentary on Matthew (A.D. 428),in SPP,74
"Peter, the foremost of the Apostles, and Chief Herald of the Church..."
Cyril of Jerusalem,Catechetical Lectures,11:3(A.D. 350),in NPNF2,VIII:64
"(Peter)The first of the Apostles, the foundation of the Church, the coryphaeus of the choir of disciples."
Chrysostom John,Ad eos qui scandalizati 17(ante A.D. 407),in SEP,74
"Peter, that head of the Apostles, the first in the Church, the friend of Christ, who recieved revelation not from man but from the Father...this Peter, and when I say Peter, I mean that unbroken Rock, the unshaken foundation, the great Apostle, the first of the disciples, the first called, the first to obey"
Chrysostom John, De Eleemosyna,3:4(ante A.D. 407),in SEP,74
"[W]e have considered that it ought be announced that although all the Catholic Churches spread abroad through the world comprise one bridal chamber of Christ, nevertheless, the holy Roman Church has been placed at the forefront not by conciliar decisions of other churches, but has received the primacy by the evangelic voice of our Lord and Savior, who says: "You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it..."...The first see, therefore, is that of Peter the Apostle, that of the Roman Church, which has neither the stain nor blemish nor anything like it"
Damasus Pope, Decree of Damasus,3(A.D. 382), in JUR,I:406
"[T]he first of the apostles, the solid rock on which the Church was built."
Epiphanius, In Ancorato,9:6 (A.D. 374),in SPP,in 57
"Simon, My follower, I have made you the foundation of the Holy Church. I betimes called you Peter(Kepha), because you will support all its buildings. You are the inspector of those who will build on earth a Church for me...I have given you the keys of my kingdom. Behold, have given you authority over all my treasures."
Ephraim, Homily 4:1,(A.D. 373),JUR,I:11
"...Peter, that strongest and greatest of all the apostles, and the one who on account of his virtue was the speaker for all the others..."
Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History,2:14 (A.D. 325),in NPNF2,I:115
"And Peter,on whom the Church of Christ is built, 'against which the gates of hell shall not prevail' "
Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History,6:25 (A.D. 325),in NPNF2,I:273
"...folly of (Pope) Stephen, that he who boasts of the place of the episcopate, and contends that he holds the succession from Peter, on whom the foundation of the Church were laid..."
Firmilian,Epistle To Cyprian,Ep 75(74):17(A.D. 256),in ANF,V:394
"To Peter,that is, to his church, he gave the power of retaining and forgiving sins on earth."
Fulgentius, De Remissione Peccatorum,2:20(A.D. 523),in SPP,71
"The holy Roman Church is senior to the other churches not by virtue of any synodal decrees, but obtained the primacy from Our Lord and Savior in the words of the Gospel,'Thou art Peter...' "
Gelasius Pope,Decree of Gelasium(A.D. 492),in SPP,166
"Who could be ignorant of the fact that the holy church is consolidated in the solidity of the prince of the Apostles, whose firmness of character extended to his name so that he should be called Peter after the 'rock', when the voice of the Truth says, 'I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven'. To him again is said "When after a little while thou hast come back to me, it is for thee to be the support of thy brethren."
Gregory the Great Pope,Epistle 40(A.D. 604),in SPP,66
"Seest thou that of the disciples of Christ, all of whom were exalted and deserving of choice, one is called rock, and is entrusted with the foundations of the church."
Gregory of Nazianzen,Oration 32:18(A.D. 380),in SPP,56
"The memory of Peter, who is the head of the apostles...he is the firm and most solid rock, on which the savior built his Church."
Gregory of Nyssa,Panegyric on St. Stephen,3(ante A.D. 394),in SPP,56
"[B]lessed Simon, who after his confession of the mystery was set to be the foundation-stone of the Church, and received the keys of the kingdom..."
Hilary de Poiters,On the Trinity,6:20(A.D. 359),in NPNF2,IX:105
"By this Spirit Peter spake that blessed word, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.' By this Spirit the rock of the Church was stablished."
Hippolytus,Discourse on the Holy Theophany,9(ante A.D. 235),ANF,V:237
"[T]he statement of Our Lord Jesus Christ who said, 'Thou art Peter,and upon this rock I will build my Church,'...These (words) which were spoken, are proved by the effects of the deeds, because in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been preserved without stain.''
Hormisdas Pope,Libellus professionis fidei,(A.D. 519),in DEN(171),73
"The decrees of the Roman Pontiff, standing upon the supremacy of the Apostolic See, are unquestionable."
Isidore of Seville,(ante A.D. 636),in PL:84
"But you say, the Church was rounded upon Peter: although elsewhere the same is attributed to all the Apostles, and they all receive the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and the strength of the Church depends upon them all alike, yet one(ie. Peter)among the twelve is chosen so that when a head has been appointed, there may be no occasion for schism."
Jerome,Against Jovinianus,1 (A.D. 393),in NPNF2,VI:366
"As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is with the chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the church is built!"
Jerome,To Pope Damasus,Epistle 15(A.D. 375),in NPNF2,VI:18
"[B]lessed Peter preserving in the strength of the Rock, which he has received, has not abandoned the helm of the Church, which he under took...And so if anything is rightly done and rightly decreed by us, if anything is won from the mercy of God by our daily supplications,it is of his work and merits whos power lives and whose authority prevails in his See...to him whom they know to be not only the patron ofthis See, but also primate of all bishops. When therefore...beleive that he is speaking whose representative we are:..."
Leo the Great(Pope),Sermon 3:3-4(A.D. 442),in NPNF2,XII:117
"[T]he Lord wished to be indeed the concern of all the Apostles: and from him as from the Head wishes His gifts to flow to all the body: so that any one who dares to secede from Peter's solid rock may understand that he has no part or lot in the divine mystery."
Leo the Great(Pope),To Bishops of Vienne,Epistle 10 (A.D. 450),in NPNF2,XII:8
"For the extremities of the earth, and all in every part of it who purely and rightly confess the Lord, look directly towards the most holy Roman Church and its confession and faith, as it were a sun of unfailing light, awaiting from it the bright radiance of our fathers, according to what the six inspired and holy Councils have purely and piously decreed, declaring most expressly the symbol of faith. For from the coming down of the Incarnate Word among us, all the churches in every part of the world have possessed that greatest church alone as their base and foundation, seeing that, according to the promise of Christ Our Savior, the gates of hell do never prevail against it, that it possesses the Keys of right confession and faith in Him, that it opens the true and only religion to such as approach with piety, and shuts up and locks every heretical mouth that speaks injustice against the Most High"
Maximus the Confessor,Opuscula theologica et polemica(A.D. 650),in PG(91:137-144)
"This Peter on whom Christ freely bestowed a sharing in his name. For just as Christ is the rock, as the Apostle Paul taught, so through Christ Peter is made rock, when the Lord says to him: "Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church..."'
Maximus of Turin,Homily 63(A.D. 408),in SPP,61-62
"[F]or the good of unity blessed Peter, for whom it would have been enough if after his denial he had obtained pardone only, deserved to be placed before all the apostles, and alone received the keys of the kingdom of heaven, to be communicated to the rest."
Optatus of Milevis, De Schismate Donatistorum,7:3(A.D. 370),in GILES,120
"And Peter, on whom the Church of Christ is built, against which the gates of hell shall not prevail..."
Origen,Commentary on John,5:3(c.A.D. 232),in ANF,X:347
"[T]he Lord spoke to Peter a little earlier; he spoke to one, that from one he might found unity, soon delivering the same to all."
Pacian,To Sympronianus,Epistle 3:2(AD 372),in GILES,123
"Wherefore the most holy and blessed Leo, archbishop of the great and elder Rome, through us, and through this present most holy synod together with the thrice blessed and all-glorious Peter the Apostle, who is the rock and foundation of the Catholic Church, and the foundation of the orthodox faith, hath stripped him of the episcopate, and hath alienated from him all hieratic worthiness.'Peter, the apostle, who is the rock and support of the Catholic Church' "
Paschasinus, Council of Chalcedon,Session III(A.D. 451)in NPNF,XIV:259-260
"You know that the Lord proclaims in the Gospel: 'Simon, Simon, behold:Satan has desired to possess you,so that he might sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you,that your faith may not fail. And you,once you have converted, confirm your brethren!'(Lk 22:31-32). Consider that the truth could not have lied,nor will the faith of Peter be able to be shaken or changed forever. For, although the devil desired to sift all the disciples,the Lord testifies that He Himself asked for Peter alone,and wished that the others be confirmed my him;and to Peter also was committed the care of 'feeding the sheep'(John 21:15);and to him also did the Lord hand over the 'keys of the kingdom of heaven'(Matthew 16:19),and upon him did He promise to 'build His Church' (Matthew 16:18);and He testified that 'the gates of Hell would not prevail against it' (Matthew 16:19)."
Pelagius II(Pope),Quod Ad Dilectionem(c.A.D. 685),in DNZ(246),95
"We exhort you, honourable brother, to submit yourself in all things to what has been written by the blessed Bishop of Rome, because St. Peter, who lives and presides in his see, gives the true faith to those who seek it. For our part,for the sake of peace and the good of the faith, we cannot judge questions of doctrine without the consent of the Bishop of Rome."
Peter Chrysologus,Epistle 25 of Leo from Peter(A.D. 449),in SPP,215
"There is no doubt, and in fact it has been known in all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the Apostles, pillar of faith, and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: who down even to to-day and forever, lives and judges in his successors. The holy and most blessed Pope Celestine,according to due order,is his successor and holds his place..."
Philip,Council of Ephesus,Session III (A.D. 431),in NPNF,XIV:223
"...the most firm rock, who(Peter) from the principal Rock recieved a share of his virtue and his name"
Prosper of Aquitaine,The Call of All Nations,2:28(A.D. 426),in SPP,71
"Peter, who is called 'the rock on which the church should be built,' who also obtained 'the keys of the kingdom of heaven...' "
Tertullian,On the Prescription Against the Heretics,22(c.A.D. 200),in ANF,III:253
"If Paul, the herald of the truth, the trumpet of the Holy Ghost, hastened to the great Peter in order that he might carry from him the desired solution of difficulties to those at Antioch who were in doubt about living in conformity with the law, much more do we, men insignificant and small, hasten to your apostolic see in order to receive from you a cure for the wounds of the churches. For every reason it is fitting for you to hold the first place, inasmuch as your see is adorned with many privileges."
Theodoret of Cyrus,To Pope Leo,Epistle 113(A.D. 449),in NPNF2,III:293
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