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*Image: The Denial of Saint Peter by Jusepe de Ribera, c. 1615-16 [Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, Palazzo Corsini, Rome]. In content and in style, this Ribera masterpiece was modeled on Caravaggio’s painting of the same title, now in New York’s MET. (Peter is furthest to the right.)

By Elizabeth A. Mitchell, The Catholic Thing, March 7, 2021

Dr. Elizabeth A. Mitchell, S.C.D., received her doctorate in Institutional Social Communications from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome where she worked as a translator for the Holy See Press Office and L’Osservatore Romano.  ….

Elizabeth A. MitchellIn the courtyard of the High Priest, on the evening of Holy Thursday, a palpable fear will grip Peter’s heart. His Master is arrested. The powers of this world are entering into their triumph, and Peter is next in their sights.

Christ Himself foresaw this moment of crushing dread which would overwhelm his friend: “Simon, Simon,” He asserts, “Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.  And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32)

In a famous exchange, Peter protests, sure that he will be able to face the mob and its fury when the moment arrives: “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death,” to which Jesus answers, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.” (Luke 22:33-34)  …