Author: Ion Taloş1
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  • 1 University of Cologne Romanisches Seminar Albertus-Magnus-Platz D-50923 Köln Germany
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St. Peter has taken a priviliged place in Romanian popular religion. His birth was miraculous: his mother became pregnant, even though she was too old to have children, after having eaten an apple. He refused to be born until he was promised a fairy as his wife. He marries, becomes emperor for fifty years, but after the death of his wife, he becomes an eremite by the Jordan River. From there, he was taken by God to heaven. He can be seen together with the apostle St. Paul on the moon. He was given the keys to heaven and does not permit the entrance of sinners. He even denies entry to his own parents. He was a companion, servant, and adviser of the Lord on Earth as an old man wearing sandals of iron or of linden wood. He makes the mistakes of a common man: he wants to perform miracles but cannot; he decapitates a devil and a woman, but when he tries to correct his mistake, he puts the head of the devil on the woman’s shoulders and vice versa; he divulges a secret told to him by God; he goes to hell and does not return in time; he loses the keys to heaven; he enjoys alcohol, food, and tobacco. He is celebrated on January 16th and June 29th. He is the master of the animals, in particular wolves to whom he gives food on January 16th. For this reason there is a need for a study on the role of St. Peter in all European mythology.

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