LECTIO PETRI : The Apostle Peter in history, art and culture

Press Conference_Presentation “Lectio Petri”, 25 October

St Peter’s Basilica opens its doors to the public and hosts a series of meetings on the life and ministry of the Saint. The first appointment will be hosted by Card. Gianfranco Ravasi, Tuesday 25th October. Vatican City, 20th October 2022 – Four encounters, in the evocative setting of St. Peter’s Basilica, to explore, with an unprecedented and original format, the life and Ministry of the Apostle Peter in history, arts and culture: this is the Lectio Petri project, promoted by St. Peter’s Basilica, the Fratelli tutti Foundation and the Courtyard of the Gentiles.

The first appointment is scheduled for Tuesday 25th October, at 6.30 pm, in the Basilica. The protagonist of the meeting – entitled “The life of St. Peter. The following, the tears and the martyrdom’ – will be Card. Gianfranco Ravasi, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture and founder of the ‘Courtyard of the Gentiles’, who will propose a reflection and some comments on some of the most significant Gospel passages concerning the Apostle and his vocation.

The chosen readings (Matthew 4:18-22 and Matthew 16:13-19 on the primacy of Peter, Matthew 26:69-75 on denial, and John 21:1-19 on Jesus’ appearance on the shore of the Sea of Galilee) will be interpreted by Alba Rohrwacher, a well-known and internationally acclaimed actress. The event will be enriched by the introduction and conclusions of Card. Mauro Gambetti, Archpriest of the Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican, and by a string quartet performing: Ave Verum Corpus (W.A. Mozart), Cantate Domino (G. F. Händel), Adagio from the Concert in C minor for Oboe and Strings (A. Marcello).

Peter is a fascinating and complex figure, also narrated in the Gospels, with his weaknesses and frailties. His story is studded with different moments, we could almost call them ‘phases’, the same that a believer might go through today: vocation, crisis – resulting in betrayal – and then conversion and final rehabilitation. He is a somewhat modern character, who deserves to be explored in depth,’ comments Card. Ravasi. “He was a mediator between the Judeo-Christian and pagan Churches and, according to the Apostle Paul, he was the first official witness of Christ’s resurrection, impacting not only the Catholic faith and tradition. This initiative – the Lectio Petri – is particularly relevant for this precise reason: each meeting will unveil an aspect, a different profile of the Apostle Peter, in theology, arts, history and culture.”

Card. Gambetti explains: “As part of the project of the Itineraries of Art and Faith carried out by St. Peter’s Basilica we look at the first of the Apostles with gratitude and reverence, for crossing the Mediterranean and arriving in Rome, in the city that the poet Tibullus (c. 55 BC – 19-18 BC) called “eternal”, and bearing witness to his love for Jesus. Peter followed the Master, becoming like him in every way, learning to be like Jesus, brother and mother who gathers his children “as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings” (Lk 13:34). It bequeaths the mandate to be the foundation of the Church that reaches out to all peoples and cultures to build universal brotherhood together. This inheritance is seamlessly duplicated by the Apostolic Tradition to this day. In the light of Peter’s faith, we want to enlighten the face of ‘our’ Church and better understand the Way that the Magisterium points out to all peoples in this Third Millennium”, from the Second Vatican Council to Pope Francis.

On Tuesday 22nd November, instead, a Catholic, a Protestant and an Orthodox theologian will debate together: the theme of the meeting will be the Primacy of Peter, entitled “On this rock I will build my Church”

“Accounting for the Hope that is in us” is the appointment scheduled for Tuesday, 17th January 2023 and dedicated to an in-depth analysis of the figure of the Saint in history and culture. Card. Ravasi, on this occasion, will comment on the two Letters of Peter and some passages from Pliny’s Letter. One of the oldest sources describing the life of the early Christians. Prof. Giuliano Amato, President of the Courtyard of the Gentiles Foundation, will conclude the meeting with a reflection on the relationship between faith and society. The last Lectio Petri, “Quo vadis”, is scheduled for 7th March 2023 with the participation with prominent personalities from the world of culture It will analyse the figure of Peter in arts, literature and music.

The Courtyard of the Gentiles is a structure of the Dicastery for Culture and Education, founded by Card. Gianfranco Ravasi to promote dialogue between believers and non-believers. Through events, meetings, debates, research and opportunities for sharing, the Courtyard of the Gentiles has established itself as a meeting place for leading figures from secular and Catholic cultures, on issues
and challenges affecting contemporary society – such as ethics, legality, science, faith, sport, art, youth and new technologies. In 2011, the Foundation Courtyard of the Gentiles, chaired by Prof. Giuliano Amato was set up to support the mission and activities of the Courtyard of the Gentiles; it pursues social solidarity goals and is inspired by the logic of non-profit.

The Fratelli tutti Foundation, established by the Holy Father on 8th December 2021 with a pontifical chirograph, was created by the Fabric of St. Peter to promote paths of art and faith, education and dialogue with culture, peoples and religions. Through the symbolic force of the embrace to the world expressed by Bernini’s colonnade, the Foundation’s mission is to foster “fraternity” and “social friendship”. This is why it stands ‘on the threshold’, between St. Peter’s Basilica and the city, as symbolised by the logo with people in motion. These people are on the one hand welcomed and on the other express the very dynamism of the Church that includes in its embrace. The Foundation’s mission areas are: 1) Paths of art and faith, enabling the many visitors to live a spiritual experience by grasping the meaning of the various dimensions of beauty. 2) cultural and spiritual formation, building an education community around St. Peter’s through seminars, lectiones, events, experiences, paths and spiritual exercises. 3) Dialogue with other cultures, other Christian denominations and other religions on the themes of the Pontiff’slatest encyclicals, building a ‘social alliance’.

To participate in the event on 25 October, please register here: shorturl.at/bLWY5

Journalists and media operators who wish to participate must apply, no less than 24 hours before the event, through the Holy See Press Office online Accreditation System available at: press.vatican.va/accreditament

www.cortiledeigentili.com www.fondazionefratellitutti.org
Press Office Cortile dei Gentili Giulia Tosana – [email protected] 333 1732069
Fratelli tutti Foundation Press Office: Rita Cristofari – – [email protected] 331 2969626

Press Conference to present “Lectio Petri,” 20 October 2022