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St. Epiphanius of Salamis

Keys, Rock of the Church, Chief of the Apostles, Foundation of the Church, St. Peter

“At Rome the first apostles and bishops were Peter and Paul, then Linus, then Cletus, then Clement, the contemporary of Peter and Paul” (Medicine Chest Against All Heresies 27:6 [A.D. 375]).

“Holy men are therefore called the temple of God, because the Holy Spirit dwells in them; as that Chief of the Apostles testifies, he that was found to be blessed by the Lord, because the Father had revealed unto him. To him then did the Father reveal His true Son; and the same (Peter) furthermore reveals the Holy Spirit. This was befitting in the First of the Apostles, that firm Rock upon which the Church of God is built, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. The gates of hell are heretics and heresiarchs. For in every way was the faith confirmed in him who received the keys of heaven; who looses on earth and binds in heaven. For in him are found all subtle questions of faith. He was aided by the Father so as to be [or lay] the Foundation of the security [firmness] of the faith. He (Peter) heard from the same God, ‘feed my lambs’; to him He entrusted the flock; he leads the way admirably in the power of his own Master.” (Saint Epiphanius, Archbishop of Salamis, T. ii. in Anchor, [A.D. 385]).

“as Manasseh the son of Hezekiah was converted and received by the Lord, and as Saint Peter, the very chiefest of the apostles, who had at one stage denied the Lord, has become for us in truth a solid rock, bearing the weight of the faith of the Lord, on which the Church is, in all ways, built.” (Against the Heresies, Heresy 59 [A.D. 372]).

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