Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov

Saint Peter the Fisherman

Posted in Reflections, Uncategorized by Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov on 13 July 2019
In popular forms of Orthodoxy, Saint Peter the Fisherman is sometimes seen as the patron saint of fishermen–a very relevant connection for those of us living in Wisconsin. In times past, when most people lived closer to the earth rather than on the concrete slabs which are our modern cities, on the feast day of the Holy Apostles, fishermen gathered in churches for special prayer services in honor of Saint Peter the Fisherman. Perhaps, a more sophisticated mind will quickly correct the simplicity of the village fisherman and point out that it is God, not Saint Peter per se (albeit, by the prayers and the intersessions of Saint Peter–sure!), Who grants us the fruits of our labors, including the toils of the fisherman. But sophistication does not always correspond to supreme wisdom. In his simple way, the fisherman believes that Saint Peter surely knows first hand what it is like to “toil all night and bring home nothing” (cf. Lk 5:5). And it is the eagerness of Saint Peter to follow the word of Christ that continues to inspire the fisherman: “Nevertheless at Thy word I will let down the net” (ibid.). And so it is with many of us: even after fishing all night and catching nothing, we would still rather be fishing–especially, since Christ Himself urges us to go back out and fish some more!–because maybe–just maybe!–with God’s blessing and by the prayers and the intersessions of the Holy Apostle Peter, we too can catch “a great multitude of fishes” (6).

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