Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Wednesday 14 April |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Hadewych of Meer
home iconTravel
line break icon

Holy Land boasts exact replica of Roman St. Peter’s statue

SAINT PETER

Yoav Dothan | Public Domain

John Burger - published on 12/05/19

Even the toes, rubbed by thousands of pilgrims, point to devotion to the Vicar of Christ.

St. Peter. Yes, his bones lie beneath the high altar in the Roman basilica named for him. Yes, the Successor of St. Peter, the pope, lives in Rome. But Simon Peter was originally a fisherman from Galilee.

It’s appropriate, therefore, that he is memorialized in the Holy Land, and the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem has seen to it. In the Co-Cathedral of the Latin Patriarchate there is a perfectly faithful copy of the bronze statue of “St. Peter in Cathedra,” which is familiar to anyone who has been to St. Peter’s in Rome.

The statue depicts St. Peter seated on his chair, with the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven in one hand and giving a blessing with the other. The statue in Rome was probably sculpted by Arnolfo di Cambio in the 13th century. The copy in Jerusalem is faithful to the original, down to the toes.

SAINT PETER
Yoav Dothan | Public Domain

“Tradition has it that it is a devout act to touch the right foot of the sculpture, now visibly worn by wear and tear due to the devotion of the numerous pilgrims,” says an article on the website of the Latin Patriarchate. That custom is emulated in Jerusalem, evidenced by the sheen on the feet. “Its presence testifies to the close relationship between ‘the Mother Church’ and ‘Mother Church,’ that is, between Rome and Jerusalem.”

“The presence of this statue in Jerusalem,” the article concludes, “testifies to the intimate bond that unites the Church of the Holy Land with that of Rome, seat of the successor of the Apostle Peter, who left Jerusalem to spread the Good News and in Rome died a martyr for his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”

After paying homage to St. Peter here, the pilgrim can also visit the Church of the Primacy of Saint Peter in Tabgha, Israel, on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee. While there, an appropriate meal would be a plate of St. Peter’s Fish, a dish named in honor of the Gospel account of Jesus instructing the Apostle to catch a fish, inside of which would be a coin.

Tags:
Holy LandSaints
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...



Top 10
1
JESUS
Fr Robert McTeigue, SJ
A simple test to see if you really believe Christ is risen
2
PRINCE PHILIP
Cerith Gardiner
11 Interesting facts about the late Prince Philip
3
SAINT FAUSTINA,CELL
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
St. Faustina’s coffee cup and lessons for Divine Mercy Sund...
4
LOREN SCHAUERS
Annalisa Teggi
Amputee from the waist down is thankful every day to be alive
5
DIVINE MERCY
Aleteia
Here’s how to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday at home
6
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
St. Padre Pio: His life, his miracles and his legacy
7
HOLY SEPULCHRE CROSSES
Zelda Caldwell
Mystery of crosses on walls of Church of the Holy Sepulchre may h...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.