...when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.
- John 1:42
Disciple of Jesus, Apostle, and the first Pope. Born Simon son of Jona in Bethsaida, on the northern edge of Lake Genesareth. St. Andrew was his brother, and St. Philip was also from Bethsaida. He settled in Capernaum. Some texts relate that he was married with children. Simon was a fisherman when he was called to discipleship.
Jesus called Simon Cephas (Aramaic Kipha, Greek Petros, Latin Petrus (hence Peter), or English "rock"). Peter was especially favored by Jesus, and in some instances he is treated as a leader among the Disciples. "Upon this rock I will build my church" (ordaining Peter's position as first Pope) "...I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven." (hence the tradition of St. Peter at the Pearly Gates).
Peter journeyed extensively as a missionary. He was imprisoned for a time by Herod Agrippa in Jerusalem. Toward the end of his life, historical documents strongly indicate he preached in Rome and was martyred (crucified) there, sometime between 55 and 68 A.D., in persecutions as dictated by Nero.