St. Peter (gifted)

Peter is shown holding the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, one gold the other, silver. At his feet the church stands on a rock, referencing Matthew 16: 18-24, “You are Peter, the Rock; and on this rock I will build my church . . . I will give you the keys of Heaven.” To the left, Christ calls the fisherman Andrew and Peter to ‘come follow me’ (Mark 1: 16-18) at right, Peter’s unsuccessful attempt to follow Christ across the water (Matt. 14: 22-33). Familiar symbols of St. Peter have been depicted in the tracery. At left, an inverted Latin cross recalls the martyrdom of Peter following his imprisonment and torture under the Roman Emperor Nero, in 64 BC. So as not to imitate his mentor Christ, the humble apostle Peter, by his own wish, requested he be nailed to an inverted cross. (Acts 12:1-11) The cock, a reminder of the fulfillment of Christ’s prophesy that Peter will deny him, references Mark 14: 66-72. Three times Peter denied knowing Christ, and each time a cock crew. Peter, upon realizing Christ’s earlier prophesy had been fulfilled, burst into tears.

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