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As one of the most prominent apostles, St. Peter frequently is seen in the Gospels and other books of the New Testament. Born at Bethsaida on the shores of Lake Tiberias to John, he was a fisherman who became one of the first disciples of Jesus. Also was known as Simon Peter or Cephus, he was a rock and protector of the early Catholic Church.
Ordained by Jesus Christ, Peter was the first pope, and delivered a proclamation of the Good news of Jesus Christ following Pentecost (the descent of the Holy Spirit) that lead to thousand coming to the faith. He became pope in 30 A.D. and was succeeded by Pope Francis.
Martyred by Nero in 66 or 67 A.D., he was beheaded or crucified, and his tomb was on a Vatican hill on which the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul was built. Pilgrims by the thousands have flocked to the tomb. Often depicted with a large book and keys he is seen as a gatekeeper to Heaven. He shares a June 29 feast day with St. Paul.