What Changed My Life After Praying at St. Peter’s in Jaffa, Israel
St. Peter’s Church at Old Jaffa has been a beacon for Christians pilgrimaging to the Holy Land for centuries. Constructed by French monarch, Louis the IX in 1654 over an older citadel surviving from the Crusades, the Church has been destroyed two times and rebuilt the same number of times during its lifetime.
St. Peter’s Church Architecture
With its high vaulted ceiling, marble walls, and stained glass paintings that depict scenes from the biblical history of St. Peter, including the miracle-catch of fish, the handing over of the keys, and the transfiguration of Jesus on Mount Tabor, this church is the perfect spot for quiet contemplation and inspiration for prayer.
Much of the building was laid out by Spanish architects and designers, however remnants from the French include rooms in which Napoleon himself is said to have stayed during his campaigns in Egypt and Syria. History apart, this site is important to the Christian faith because it is here that St. Peter is said to have raised Tabitha from the dead and this church is dedicated to this apostle of Christ.
The church is a sight to behold when viewed from the South side at night with its looming entranceway and bell tower. Inside the church, the high ceiling means that the slightest sounds can be heard loud and clear.
The Spiritual Legacy of St. Peter’s
Despite these outer embellishments, St. Peter’s church is more than just a tourist attraction or a thing of curiosity. It is a testament to the most famous apostle of Jesus, who the others looked up to and gave way to when temple tax collectors wanted information from the disciples. Several accounts from the life of the apostles indicate that Peter was first among equals – at once a man of feeling and action and firmness and kindness, on the other.
It was Peter who possessed the insight and showed deep faith in the confession of Christ as the Son of God (Matthew 16:15–18; Mark 8:29; Luke 9:20), and it was Peter who rebuked, and in turn was rebuked by, Jesus when the Master prophesied that he would suffer and die (Mark 8:32, 33). It was also Peter who manifested the temporary weakness of even the staunchest in faith when he denied Jesus as his Lord (Matthew 26:69–75; Mark 14:66–72; Luke 22:54–61). Later, however, with greater maturity, Peter discovered strength and, as he was charged by Jesus (Luke 22:31, 32), inspired others in strengthening their faith.
St. Peter, the Intercessor for Prayer Requests from Around the World
The trust that Jesus placed in Peter and his future role in spreading his teachings is displayed by the fact that Jesus chose Peter to witness the resurrection before any of his other apostles. Peter is often shown to be closest to Jesus and acts as his representative and spokesman on many occasions.
Because of this fact, St. Peter offers us the opportunity to act as an intercessor, pleading with Jesus, our Lord, on our behalf. As the head of the first church after the resurrection and ascension of Christ, Peter is the first leader of our communities in prayer. This is the proximity to the origins of the Christian church that acts as a symbol of devotion and faith for Christians worldwide. If you’re ever in Israel, this church ought to be an integral part of your pilgrimage.
Alternatively, you can be a part of prayers offered in the Holy Land, in the church of St. Peter at Jaffa, by sending in prayer requests to the Holy Land online.
The Salvation Garden is a praying community dedicated to making the Holy Lands of Jerusalem, accessible to believers around the world. If you somehow can’t make it to the lands where Jesus was crucified and resurrected, we can take your online prayer requests, print and hand-deliver them to select churches.