On February 22nd the Church celebrates the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter. This feast (which can be traced back to the mid-fourth century) has its roots in an ancient Roman custom of keeping an empty chair in a home for deceased persons from February 13th to 22nd. The exact date of St. Peter’s martyrdom is not known so custom has ascribed the date to February 22nd. The bishop’s chair, or cathedra, is an expression of the bishop’s pastoral authority in a diocese. On today’s feast the Church reflects on the unique authority of the Bishop of Rome as successor to Peter in the life of the Church.
Below is a recent Angelus message offered by the current successor to Peter.