Peter’s mother-in-law is recorded as being healed by Jesus himself.
Matthew recounts an interesting episode in his Gospel where Jesus visits Peter’s house and finds Peter’s mother-in-law lying sick in bed.
And when Jesus entered Peter’s house, he saw his mother-in-law lying sick with a fever; he touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and served him. (Matthew 8:14-15)
This implies, of course, that Peter was married. However, one of the glaring omissions from this passage is the presence of Peter’s wife. Instead of Peter’s wife serving them, it was his mother-in-law, making it appear that she was the only woman in the household.
Where was Peter’s wife, then? Was Peter’s wife alive when he encountered Jesus?
Early traditions answering this question diverge in various ways. Some early Church fathers say yes, she was alive and even accompanied him on his journeys to Rome. There is even a tradition that says she was martyred with Peter.
However, little archeological evidence points to a possible existence of Peter’s wife in Rome.
Other traditions affirm that Peter’s wife died before Peter met Jesus, which is consistent with her absence in the Gospel narratives.
Most scripture scholars say that it was likely Peter was a widower when he met Jesus, leaving him without any obligations that would prevent him from being the first pope of the Catholic Church.
Read more: Whatever happened to the Twelve Apostles?
Since you are here…
…we’d like to have one more word with you. We are excited to report that Aleteia’s readership is growing at a rapid rate, world-wide! Our team proves its mission every day by providing high-quality content that informs and inspires a Christian life. But quality journalism has a cost and it’s more than ads can cover. We want our articles to be accessible to everyone, free of charge, but we need your help. To continue our efforts to nourish and inspire our Catholic family, your support is invaluable. Become an Aleteia Patron today for as little as $3 a month. May we count on you?