Vatican to host ‘Lectio Petri’ events to explore St. Peter’s legacy


The Holy See Press Office welcomes Cardinals Ravasi and Gambetti to present the initiative “Lectio Petris: the Apostle Peter in History, Arts and Culture”, which runs until spring 2023.

October 21, 2022

Old statue of Saint Peter in the Vatican (Vatican Media)

By Deborah Castellano Lubov
The Vatican is ready to welcome ‘Lectio Petri: The Apostle Peter in History, Arts and Culture”, a series of encounters on the life and ministry of the saint, open to the public in Saint Peter’s Basilica.

This new project was presented Thursday to the Press Office of the Holy See by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President Emeritus of the former Pontifical Council for Culture and founder of the Courtyard of the Gentiles, and Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, Vicar General of His Holiness for the Vatican City, Archpriest of Saint Peter’s Basilica and President of Saint Peter’s Factory.

The series consists of four encounters, in the evocative setting of the Vatican Basilica and with a novel and original format, to explore the life and ministry of the Apostle Peter in history, arts and culture.

The project is organized by the Basilica, the Fratelli tutti Foundation and the Courtyard of the Gentiles.

Saint Peter, ‘fascinating and complex figure’
During Thursday’s press conference, Cardinal Ravasi underscored the relevance of Saint Peter today.

“Pierre is a fascinating and complex figure, also told in the Gospels, with his weaknesses and frailties. His story is dotted with different moments, one could almost call them “phases”, the same that a believer can go through today: vocation, crisis – culminating in betrayal – then conversion and final rehabilitation.

The Cardinal, who just turned 80 this week, explained that Peter is “a somewhat modern character”, which deserves to be explored in depth and which is relevant for contemporary times.

“He was a mediator between the Judeo-Christian and pagan churches and, according to the apostle Paul, he was the first official witness to the resurrection of Christ, impacting not only Catholic faith and tradition.”

Lighting up the face of “our” Church
Likewise, Cardinal Gambetti described the program as interesting.

“We look at the first of the Apostles with gratitude and reverence,” he reflected, “for crossing the Mediterranean and arriving in Rome, in the city that the poet Tibullus called ‘eternal’, and testifying to his love for Jesus”.

“Pierre”, continued the president of the Fabrique de Saint-Pierre, “followed the Master, becoming like him in every way”.

This heritage, he suggested, “is perfectly duplicated by the Apostolic Tradition to this day.”

“In the light of Peter’s faith, we want to illuminate the face of “our” Church and better understand the Way that the Magisterium indicates to all peoples in this third millennium, from the Second Vatican Council to Pope Francis”.

Four encounters
The first appointment will be given by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi on Tuesday, October 25, at 6:30 p.m., Rome time, in the Basilica.

For the meeting entitled “The life of Saint Peter. The aftermath, the tears and the martyrdom”, Cardinal Ravasi will offer a reflection and some comments on some of the most significant passages of the Gospel concerning the Apostle and his vocation.

The chosen readings will be interpreted by Alba Rohrwacher, a well-known and internationally renowned actress.

Readings include Matthew 4:18-22 and Matthew 16:13-19 on the rule of Peter, as well as Matthew 26:69-75 on denial, and John 21:1-19 on the appearance of Jesus on the shore from the Sea of ​​Galilee.

The event will also be enriched by the introduction and conclusions of Cardinal Gambetti, and by a string quartet performing: Mozart’s Hail Verum Corpusby Handel Cantata Dominoand Marcello’s Adagio excerpt from Concerto in C minor for oboe and strings.

On Tuesday, November 22, a Catholic, a Protestant and an Orthodox theologian will debate together on the theme of the Primacy of Peter, during a demonstration entitled “On this rock, I will build my Church”.

The third meeting, entitled “Recognizing the Hope that is in us”, is scheduled for Tuesday, January 17, 2023 and devoted to an in-depth analysis of the figure of the Saint in history and culture.

Cardinal Ravasi will comment on the two Letters of Peter and some passages from the Letter of Pliny, one of the oldest sources describing the life of the first Christians.

Professor Giuliano Amato, President of the Courtyard of the Gentiles Foundation, will conclude the meeting with a reflection on the relationship between faith and society.

Finally, the last Lectio Petri EventWhat’s going on“, is scheduled for March 7.

With the participation of eminent personalities from the world of culture, it will analyze the figure of Peter in the arts, literature and music.

The Courtyard of the Gentiles is a structure of the Dicastery for Culture and Education, founded by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi to promote dialogue between believers and non-believers.

Through events, meetings, debates, research and opportunities for sharing, the Parvis des Gentils has established itself as a meeting place for personalities from secular and Catholic cultures, on questions and challenges affecting the contemporary society – such as ethics, legality, science, faith, sport, art, youth and new technologies. Vatican News


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