18 And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Chrysostom: Christ then proceeds to shew that many would hereafter believe what Peter had now confessed, whence He adds, “And I say unto thee, that thou art Peter.”
Augustine: Let none suppose that Peter received that name here; he received it at no other time than where John relates that it was said unto him, “Thou shalt be called Cephas, which is interpreted, Peter” [John 1:42].
Chrysostom: Pursuing the metaphor of the rock, it is rightly said to him as follows: “And upon this rock I will build my Church.”
That is, On this faith and confession I will build my Church. Herein shewing that many should believe what Peter had confessed, and raising his understanding, and making him His shepherd.
Jerome: I suppose the gates of hell to mean vice and sin, or at least the doctrines of heretics by which men are ensnared and drawn into hell.
Origen: He does not express what it is which they shall not prevail against, whether the rock on which He builds the Church, or the Church which He builds on the rock; but it is clear that neither against the rock nor against the Church will the gates of hell prevail.
Jerome: Let none think that this is said of death, implying that the Apostles should not be subject to the condition of death, when we see their martyrdoms so illustrious.
Scripture from the Douay-Rheims Bible. Commentary from St. Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea, Vol. I (London: Rivington, 1842).