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9 Things You Need to Know About the ‘Chair of St. Peter’

Yes, there is a physical object known as “the Chair of St. Peter.”

It is housed at the Vatican, at the back of St. Peter’s basilica.

Feb. 22 is the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter.

And there is more to the story.

Here are 9 things you need to know …

1. What is the Chair of Peter?

It depends on what you mean.

On the one hand, there is a physical object — an ancient, ornamented chair — located in the apse of St. Peter’s Basilica.

On the other hand, there is the spiritual authority that this chair represents.

Here we will look at both the physical object and the spiritual reality it represents.

2. What is the physical Chair of St. Peter?

This object — known as the Cathedra Petri (Latin, “Chair of Peter”) — is located in the apse of St. Peter’s Basilica. It is in the back of the chamber, behind the famous altar, on the back wall, below the well-known stained glass image depicting the Holy Spirit as a dove (see above).

This display contains an ancient chair that has been repaired and ornamented over time.

The Catholic Encyclopedia states of the original chair:

The seat is about one foot ten inches above the ground, and two feet eleven and seven-eighths inches wide; the sides are two feet one and one-half inches deep; the height of the back up to the tympanum is three feet five and one-third inches; the entire height of the chair is four feet seven and one-eighth inches.

According to the examination then made by Padre Garucci and Giovanni Battista de Rossi, the oldest portion is a perfectly plain oaken arm-chair with four legs connected by cross-bars.

The wood is much worm-eaten, and pieces have been cut from various spots at different times, evidently for relics.

To the right and left of the seat four strong iron rings, intended for carrying-poles, are set into the legs.

Read more at National Catholic Register 

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