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The adventures of St. Peter, the first pope â for children
Most kids think of popes as old men who live quiet lives in the Vatican. In fact, danger stalks every pope. From John Paul II (who was shot) all the way back to the first pope, the men God places in charge of His Church have been hated and attacked for their goodness and for the good the Church does.
These pages recount the adventures of Peter, the first pope, whose troubles began just days after Jesus returned to Heaven. When Peter preached, baptized three thousand people, and cured a lame man, soldiers threw him into prison. Set free by a judge, Peter preached again, won more converts, and got jailed again . . . and again.
Finally freed by angels, Peter traveled throughout Asia, setting up many new churches. Then he went to Rome, the capital of the Empire, where he converted many and, doing so, angered the pagan emperor Nero. Neroâ s soldiers threw many Christians to the lions. They arrested Peter, led him before a jeering crowd, and crucified him.
Today, on the very spot where Peter was crucified, stands the most important Catholic Church in the world, St. Peterâ s Basilica. Nearby is the Vatican, the Churchâ s worldwide headquarters, and for centuries home to the popes â men who are now known not merely by their chosen names but are also called â Peterâ (to remind us that Christ Himself has placed them, too, in charge of His Church).
Yes, as youâ ll read in these exciting pages, Peter, the first pope, died (as will all who ever take his place). But each will be replaced by yet another pope, who will also be known as â Peter.â In this way, Peter became the man who never died, fulfilling the promise that Jesus made to him: â Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,â the Church whose origins are told here, and which will also never die.
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