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Cross of St. Peter

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Cross of St.Peter is a symbol, that looks like a Christian cross, but upside down. Saint Peter was an apostle, and a martyr. When he was sentenced to death, Peter requested that the cross be put upside down, because he felt unworthy of dying in the same way as Jesus.

Crucifixion of Saint Peter by Caravaggio, 1601
Peter's Cross on a Lutheran church in Kemi, Finland

The origin of the symbol comes from the belief that Peter the Apostle was crucified upside down,[1] as told by Origen of Alexandria. The tradition first appears in the "Martyrdom of Peter". This is a text fragment found in the apocryphal Acts of Peter. The text fragment may have been written eartier than the rest of the Acts of Peter. It was written no later than 200 A.D. Another important Christian who died in the same way was Saint Philip, the apostle.

References[change | change source]

  1. Our Christian Symbols by Friedrich Rest (ISBN 0-8298-0099-9), p. 29