This morning, Pope Benedict XVI held his general Audience, in which he recalled Peter’s spiritual journey, describing him as a man "animated by a sincere religiosity, who learned what following Jesus really means."
Before more than 60,000 faithful gathered on Saint Peters square, Pope Benedict gave a catechesis on the life of the Saint Peter, and the personality of the individual Apostles.
“Peter was animated by a sincere religiosity that moved him to go with his brother to Judea, following the preaching of John the Baptist.”He was a faithful Jew, who believed in God's active presence in the history of His people, “ the pope continued.
The Pontiff wished to give a thorough depiction of the person of Saint Peter and his spiritual itinerary toward Christ, “a strong and impulsive character, Peter allowed himself to be involved in this great adventure,” the Pontiff added.
Pope Benedict recalled the way in which he recognized Jesus as the messiah,
with the famous question Jesus asked him "'Who do men say that I am?' ... And Peter replied also on behalf of the others: 'You are the Christ'."
"This reply," said Benedict XVI, "has within it the seed of the Church's future profession of faith. However, Peter had not yet understood the profound substance of Jesus' messianic mission, as became clear shortly afterwards when he made it known that the Messiah he sought in his dreams was very different from God's plan."
Lastly, the Pope recalled that "Peter thus learned what following Jesus really means. And, though with difficulty, he accepted the invitation and continued his path in the footsteps of the Master."