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The Miraculous Tale of the Church of the Primacy of Saint Peter

Icon August 16, 2019
Icon By Shai Navon
Icon 0 comments

Journey back in time to a place where geographic beauty met stunning spiritual grace

On the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, in the midst of tranquil Tabgha, stands the Church of the Primacy of Saint Peter. A simple, squat building of black basalt. Subtle. Understated. Yet surrounded by sheer natural beauty: rolling greens, flowing waters, and an abundance of local flora and fauna. At first glance, it would seem that the church is the site of but one of the Holy Land’s many archaeological ruins. However, upon visiting the site and learning of the miraculous tale behind the Church of the Primacy of Saint Peter, it will immediately become evident that this locale is home to a degree of reverence and grace, unmatched by nearly any other structure you’ll come across.

Your front-row journey back in time to a wondrous, holy happening, starts now.

Built in 1934, but traced back to biblical times

Enter the church, sized roughly the same as a gymnasium, and covered in several colorful Byzantine mosaics, that make stark statements up against the solemn, grey stone walls. A modest Franciscan chapel, rebuilt following a 2015 fire. Rock-cut steps and heart-shaped double-column blocks, commemorating “where the Lord stood,” and the Twelve Apostles. And, of course, the “table of Christ” (Latin: Mensa Christi), a large stone at the altar, where Jesus is believed to have served his disciples a fish breakfast after they come to shore (John 21:9). Modest, subdued, yet the perfect echo to the biblical time and tales that reportedly took place on this very soil, so many centuries ago.

Church of the Primacy of Saint Peter

Imagine all the people

In the Bible (John 21:9), it is told that Peter and six other disciples had been fishing all night on the Sea of Galilee, without catching anything. Just after daybreak, a man told them to cast their net on the right side of the boat and the net filled with 153 fish. That man was Jesus, who prepared a charcoal fire for the fish and hosted a breakfast for all, leading Peter to confess “I am a sinful man!” and be reinstated, following his earlier denial of Jesus at the crucifixion.

As such, visiting this holy site and imagining such a miraculous occurrence, is sure to be an awe-inspiring and motivating experience for all.

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Mimicry is the best form of flattery, but…

Now that you know the rich, inspiring history behind the Church of the Primacy of Saint Peter and its surrounding locale, it’s only natural that you’ll want to follow suit and emulate the activities that took place during that sacred, historical encounter. However, there are quite a few rules and restrictions that will halt you in your tracks. Signs marking the site’s holiness forbid you to enter wearing shorts, go fishing, swim in the waters, or start a coal fire. Instead, tour the holy site, picture the way things were back then and whisper a solemn prayer, absolving yourself of sins, just as Peter did, so many years ago.

Church of the Primacy of Saint Peter

The Bottom line

Whether you’re a see-er or a believer, visiting the Church of the Primacy of Saint Peter and witnessing its “revival” following destruction is a testament to the power of confession, repentance and commitment, a miraculous experience and a must-do on your upcoming Israel tour.


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