Jaffa: St. Peter’s Church


A Roman Catholic Church building in Jaffa, St. Peter’s Church, sits on top of Jaffa Hill, overlooking the Mediterranean. The current structure was built in the 1890’s, but previous church buildings by that name have rested there since the mid-1600’s. All were built on top of the remains of a fortress built by crusaders in the time of the Crusades.

Until the 20th century, Jaffa (Joppa; Yafo) was the only real point of entry into Israel from the sea and a view of the fortress, or the subsequent church building perched on top of the hill, was often the first indication to travelers on ships that they were closing in on their destination.

Most travelers now arrive, of course, by plane or land, as I did, at Ben Gurion Airport, located about ten miles southeast of Jaffa, close to the modern city of Lod. Lod was known Lydda in Bible times and Lydda is where Peter healed a long-time paralyzed man by the name of Aeneas (Acts 9.32-35)

“Everyone who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him [Aeneas] and turned to the Lord.” (Acts 9.35)

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