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Capernaum: Peter’s House...

Since 1990, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul (June 29) has been celebrated with special devotion in the modern church built over Peter’s house in Capernaum, by the Sea of Galilee. Peter’s mother-in-law was healed there (Mt 8:14-15, Mk 1:29-31, and Lk 4:38-39). Jesus’ “Bread of Life” discourse (Jn 6:22-59) was given in the city’s synagogue. The current synagogue ruins, the oldest and best-preserved ones in Israel, date to the fifth century AD, but they rest atop an earlier synagogue.

In 1894, Franciscan friars bought the unused land containing the synagogue, which was excavated by Friars Wendelin von Menden and Gaudenzio Orfali. Over the course of 19 summers, Friars Virgilio Corbo and Stanislao Loffreda of Jerusalem’s Studium Biblicum Franciscanum excavated the “house of Peter.” That structure is under a fifth-century octagonal church built over an earlier church incorporating a first century octagonal house—obviously an important spot for early Christians.

The modern octagonal church contains a central open area allowing visitors to see the fifth-century church and earlier nearby buildings. Maps, documentation, and a virtual tour can be accessed through the “Sanctuaries” link at custodia.org. Pope Paul VI visited Capernaum in 1964; St. John Paul II went there in 2000.

This blog was taken from Pat McCloskey’s “Dear Reader” column in St. Anthony Messenger. To subscribe to this award-winning publication, click here.

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Photo: David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons

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"And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood.

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will."

-Papa Francis quote

He does not know you, yet he prays for you.
He will most likely never meet you, yet he loves you.

This is your chance to show your love, for as the Bible teaches, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."