The Church of the Primacy of Saint Peter is a Franciscan church located in Tabgha, Sea of Galilee. Right on the very shores of the little lake. In fact, it commemorates and allegedly marks the spot, of Jesus’ reinstatement of Peter as chief among the Apostles.
More About the Church of the Primacy of Saint Peter
So the modern Church of the Primacy of Saint Peter was built in 1933. Furthermore, it incorporates parts of an earlier 4th-century church. In fact, at the base of its walls, opposite the main altar, the foundations of the 4th-century church are visible. Additionally, in the 9th century; the church was referred to as the ‘Place of the Coals’. This name refers to the incident of Jesus’ preparation of a meal for the apostles, building a charcoal fire on which to cook the fish.
Also first mentioned in the year 808 is the “Twelve Thrones”, a series of heart-shaped stones, which were placed along the shore to commemorate the Twelve Apostles. The church survived longer than any other in the area, finally being destroyed in 1263. The present Franciscan chapel was built on the site in 1933. This church was included in the itineraries of Popes Paul VI and John Paul II during their visits to Israel in 1964 and March 2000 respectively.
Church of the Primacy of Saint Peter: Mensa Christi
The church contains a projection of limestone rock in front of the present altar which is venerated as a “Mensa Christi”, Latin for a table of Christ. According to tradition, this is the spot where Jesus is said to have laid out a breakfast of bread and fish for the Apostles. Also, telling Peter to “Feed my sheep” after the miraculous catch; the third time he appeared to them after his resurrection. The pilgrim Egeria in her narrative of the Holy Land circa 380 is mentioning it. There is also another table of Christ enshrined at the Mensa Christi Church in Nazareth.