February 22nd, 2021

Pray with Us: St. Peter’s Church

Today, St. Peter’s Church is an easy one hour drive from Jerusalem. But hundreds of years ago, it would take pilgrims another three days to reach the Holy City. The church was built in 1654 on the top of a hill near the shore in Jaffa. 

Jaffa was once the main port to the Holy Land. Christian pilgrims, from across the world, would first arrive here to reach Jerusalem. St. Peter’s Church, with its tall bell tower, used to be a beacon to these pilgrims. It was the hopeful signal that the Holy Land was near. 

The church was originally part of a crusader fort and citadel. It was erected during the reign of Louis IX, King of France. A statue of King Louis IX stands in the courtyard of the church today. 

Painting by Antoine-Jean Gros depicting Napoleon in Jaffa surrounded by the aftermath of a battle.

On the right of the church, two rooms still remain of St. Louis’ fort. Historians believe these are the same rooms where French General Napoleon lived in 1799. Napoleon used the Holy Land as a base, while campaigning in Egypt and Syria. 

Statue of Napoleon in Jaffa today.

During the 18th century, the church was destroyed and rebuilt twice. The St. Peter’s Church we know today was completed in 1894. Throughout the many lifetimes of this church, it has always been dedicated to St. Peter.

Jaffa is an important location for St. Peter in the bible. Here he raised Tabitha, one of Jesus’ disciples, from the dead.

“Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive.” Acts 9:40-41

 

St. Peter holds Tabitha’s hand.

Today, St. Peter’s Church continues to welcome pilgrims from all over the world. There are weekly services in English, Spanish, Polish and even Hebrew. 

You can make a prayer request from this church today. Worship online with the Salvation Garden team. Our prayer warriors will hand hand-deliver your prayers to St. Peter’s and the Holy Land.