The Apostle Peter was first called Simon and his brother was Andrew. They were fishermen and became followers of Jesus after their meeting along the Sea of Galilee. Simon became a leader among Jesus’ disciples. Shortly before they went to Jerusalem, Jesus gave him the name Peter, Aramaic for ‘rock’. And Jesus said, ‘upon this rock I will build my church,’ and gave Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Peter can thus be considered as Christ’s representative on earth, the first pope, and as the keeper of the gates of heaven. After Christ’s death, Peter preached his gospel as an apostle and also performed miracles. Additional details about Peter’s life are found in the apocryphal (not officially part of the Bible) writings. He died on the cross under Emperor Nero in Rome. Peter insisted on being crucified upside down out of respect for Christ.



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