Saint Peter was the first Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. He was born as Simon Peter in Bethsaida, Syria although the exact date is unknown. While working as a fisherman on Lake Genesareth with his brother Saint Andrew, Andrew introduced him to Jesus. Both were among the Twelve Apostles chosen by Jesus. Jesus gave him the new name Cephas which meant rock because he was the rock on which the Christian church would be built.
After the death of Jesus, Saint Peter continued his ministry as the head of the Christian church and was Pope from 32 to 67. The church went universal after he met with other church leaders at the Council of Jerusalem in 50 and they set the rules for Gentile converts to Christianity. Saint Peter took missionary trips to cities including Antioch, Corinth and Rome. He was executed in 67 when Emperor Nero Augustus Caesar had him crucified upside down. An inverted cross became one of his symbols. The church recognizes him with a feast day on June 29.