The Veneration of the venerable Chains of St. Peter (Jan. 16)

Bulletin as of January 16 2022


The OCA notes “The Veneration of the Honorable Chains of the Holy and All-Praised Apostle Peter: In about the year 42, on the orders of Herod Agrippa, the Apostle Peter was thrown into prison for preaching about Christ the Savior. In prison, he was held secure by two iron chains. During the night before his trial, an angel of the Lord removed these chains from the Apostle Peter and led him out from the prison (Acts 12:1-11). Christians who learned of the miracle took the chains and kept them as precious keepsakes. For three centuries, the chains were kept in Jerusalem, and those who were afflicted with illness and approached them with faith received healing. Patriarch Juvenal (July 2) presented the chains to Eudokia, wife of the emperor Theodosius the Younger, and she in turn transferred them from Jerusalem to Constantinople in either the year 437 or 439. Eudokia sent one chain to Rome to her daughter Eudoxia (the wife of Valentinian), who built a church on the Esquiline hill dedicated to the Apostle Peter and placed the chain in it. There were other chains in Rome, with which the Apostle Peter was shackled before his martyrdom under the emperor Nero. These were also placed in the church. On January 16, the chains of Saint Peter are brought out for public veneration.”

Why do we venerate chains? All of us are chained to things, other people, our hobbies, our friends, families, and even enemies. But there is nothing more glorious than to be a prisoner of Christ! The Apostle Paul calls these “the bonds of the gospel.” (c.f Philemon 1:13; and Acts 28:20). To be bound by the Gospel means total freedom to be what God has made us to be. Indeed, “He whom the Son sets free is free indeed!” (John 8:36). Paradoxically, to be a slave to God is to be totally free because true freedom is freedom as God created it to be, freedom to become partakers of the Gospel, of the Divine Nature (2 Pet. 1:4).

Sunday, January 16 –

  • 11:27 AM